(January 2, 2019 / JNS) Former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon announced his new party name on Wednesday, called “Telem,” an acronym for “National Statesmanlike Movement.”
“This is a holiday for me in which the citizens of Israel are being given good news, and my colleagues and I are being given hope and tremendous responsibility,” he said.
Without describing a specific platform, Ya’alon added that his new party would be an “independent political force” and put the “country back on the right track.”
This move ahead of the April elections mirrors former Defense Minister and Israel Defense Forces’ Chief of Staff Moshe Dayan, who led Israel to victory in the 1967 Six-Day War and founded a party with the same name in 1981, winning two seats in June of that year. Dayan died four months later.
Although the latest polling has suggested Ya’alon would fail to clear the 3.25 percent minimum vote threshold needed to enter the Knesset, he has reportedly been talking to former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz to form an electoral partnership, considering the latter has performed well in recent polls.
There are also reports Labor chief Avi Gabbay, whose party ended its alliance with the Zionist Union, might run jointly with Ya’alon.
Ya’alon said he would not join a coalition led by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is favored to win re-election.