(photo credit: WIKIPEDIA)
Zionist Union MK Manuel Trajtenberg, one of Israel’s most respected economists, announced Thursday night that he is quitting politics.
Trajtenberg was wooed by Yesh Atid and Kulanu before joining the Zionist Union with great fanfare in December 2014. Born in Argentina, Trajtenberg has degrees from Harvard and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has held various governmental posts, but gained notoriety when he was appointed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to head a committee that responded to socioeconomic protesters who filled the streets in the summer of 2011.
Announcing his departure on his Facebook page, Trajtenberg said he wanted to write a book on his socioeconomic vision for a just and prosperous society. He said he would continue to support the Zionist Union and its new leader, Avi Gabbay
, and help him in any way he can.
In the Knesset, Trajtenberg concentrated on legislation helping children and his work in the Finance and Education committees. He thanked former Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog and MK Tzipi Livni for giving him a chance at politics. They had promised him to become finance minister had their party won the 2015 election.
“It is very hard for me to part from the citizens who had high hopes for me,” Trajtenberg said. “I leave politics the same man, obligated by the same principles and the same hopes. I will not disappoint you, because I will continue with the same goals, even though my means of achieving them will change.”
Gabbay said he was very disappointed by Trajtenberg’s departure. He called him the symbol of fairness, expertise and seriousness in Israeli politics. But Gabbay said he was glad the Knesset would get a new Druse MK, the next name on the Zionist Union list, Saleh Saad.
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said Trajtenberg had made significant contributions to the Israeli economy and his resignation was a great loss to Israeli politics.