Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon failed to secure a spot on Yisrael
Beytenu's candidate list for the January 22 Knesset elections, which
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman presented on Tuesday evening.
Liberman atop the list were: party newcomer Yair Shamir, the son of
former prime minister Yitzhak Shamir; Energy and Water Minster Uzi
Landau; MK Sofa Landver, and Public Security Minister Yitzhak
Rounding out the top 10 were MK Orly Levy-Abecasis
at number six, followed by MK Faina Kirschenbaum, MK David Rotem, MK
Robert Ilatov and MK Hamad Amar. Shamir is the only new face in the top
Ayalon responded to his having been left off the Yisrael Beytenu list, saying he would continue to work to advance Israel's interests.
"Today I received from the chairman of Yisrael Beytenu, Avigdor Liberman, the announcement that I would not be on the Yisrael Beytenu list for the next Knesset," Ayalon wrote on his Facebook page.
"In the past four years I was able to serve as Israel's deputy foreign minster during a complicated and challenging time...I will continue to work for the prosperity and strengthening of Israel in the diplomatic, security and economic arenas," Ayalon stated.
He added that he would continue to work hard in his current role until the end of his term.
Current Yisrael Beytenu MKs Moshe Matalon and Lea Shemtov were bumped to unrealistic spots on the list.
Liberman touted the list as a "balanced, nationalist, responsible list."
addition to Ayalon, the party also lost Tourism Minister Stas
Meseznikov when he announced his resignation from politics earlier in
the day, and controversial MK Anastasia Michaeli, who announced her own
resignation on Monday night.
Meseznikov was a member of Yisrael
Beytenu for 14 years, and Liberman expressed regret over his resignation.
Meseznikov held many important roles in the political system in the last
two terms, he exceeded above and beyond in every one of them and
greatly contributed to the economic and social strength of Israel and
its citizens," Liberman said.
He added that Meseznikov had been
expected to receive a high spot on the party list and a senior position
in the next government.
Meseznikov has recently been the subject of allegations
that he regularly gets drunk goes to strip clubs and misses important
cabinet meetings. The minister responded to the accusations saying that
former bodyguards leaked false stories.
MK Michaeli announced
Monday night that she would not be seeking a place on the party's list for
the next Knesset and would retire from politics.
received overtures from the Strong Israel party led by MK Arieh Eldad,
who hoped she would bring his party votes from Russian immigrants. But
she decided she would remain loyal to Yisrael Beytenu, even though she
would not be on its Knesset list.