Diaspora Affairs Minister Omer Yankelevitch informed Blue and White head Benny Gantz on Monday that she will not run in the upcoming Knesset election.
Yankelevich revealed that she had told Gantz of her decision a month ago and he had asked her to reconsider. She blamed her departure from politics on a series of reports accusing her of having romantic affairs.
“I personally paid a heavy price,” Yankelevitch said. “Baseless lies were spread about me. But I chose to ignore the attempts to besmirch me and focus on true public service, rather than settle scores.”
Sources in Blue and White said the real reason for Yankelevitch’s departure was that Gantz did not intend to place her in a realistic slot on the party’s list.
Gantz is expected to reveal Blue and White’s list on Wednesday. The top slots are expected to go to ministers Itzik Shmuli, Chili Tropper, Michael Biton, Pnina Tamano-Shata and Orit Farkash-Hacohen.
She will continue to serve in her ministerial capacity until a new government is sworn in.
Gantz thanked Yankelevitch for her important contribution to global Jewry and Zionism and wished her success going forward.