In blow to Netanyahu, Elkin quits Likud to join Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope

Ze’ev Elkin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s close adviser, his translator and adviser in all dealings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and his former coalition chairman who famously never lost a vote, quits Likud to join Gideon Sa’ar’s New Hope party.

His letter of resignation makes no mention of his shifting political alliance, saying: “I would like to terminate my Likud membership.”

Elkin immigrated to Israel from Ukraine in 1990. He first entered the Knesset as a Kadima MK in 2006, but then switched to Likud, and has held his seat ever since. He was minister of higher education and of water resources in the newly collapsed coalition.

with Haviv Rettig Gur

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (r) seen with Jerusalem and Heritage Minister Ze’ev Elkin in the Knesset in Jerusalem on July 3, 2018. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)