Azaria leaving Kulanu, possibly Knesset

Azaria said she was considering options both in and out of the Knesset.

MK Rachel Azaria has joined the parade of MKs leaving Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu Party, telling The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that her future is unclear.
Azaria said that she had grown tired of her differences with the heads of her party and her coalition over bills on both matters of religion and state and of whitewashing political corruption.
“The disputes were too large, and I didn’t want there to be such a wide gap,” she said. “I didn’t want to be in the same situation in the next Knesset, when the anti-democratic bills are expected to be even worse.”
Azaria said she was considering options, both in and out of the Knesset. She said she had multiple options among parties running for the next Knesset but added, “we don’t talk about what is uncooked.”
Five of the original 11 Kulanu MKs and ministers have left or are leaving the party: Avi Gabbay, Yoav Galant, Michael Oren, Eli Alalouf and Azaria. In an effort to ensure loyalty to him, Kahlon has decided to replace them with two of his young aides.
Azaria, 41, ran an unsuccessful campaign for mayor of Jerusalem, becoming the first woman to seek the post but ultimately deciding not to return to the Jerusalem city council, where she served as deputy mayor before leaving for the Knesset four years ago.
Sources in Kulanu said the real reason for Azaria’s departure was that she was “constantly picking fights with her colleagues” and was “difficult to work with.” But another Kulanu MK said that Azaria’s problem was that she was inflexible with her ideology and that she should be credited for that.
Azaria was born in Jerusalem to an American mother and so had to renounce her US citizenship when she entered the Knesset.

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