Blue and White MK Michal Cotler-Wunsh announced on social media on Thursday morning that she will not run in the March 23 election.
The announcement came after she left Blue and White six weeks ago and the New Hope and Yamina parties turned her down.
"When I submitted my resignation from the Blue and White party last month, I did so painfully, having lost my faith in the party's ability to lead and propel Israel forward," she wrote.
"Sadly, I will not be running in the upcoming elections. I am grateful for the honor and responsibility that I have had to serve the incredible Israeli public."
Cotler-Wunsh said she will continue to fight for Israel’s internal resilience and unity, for improved relations with the Diaspora, and for Israel’s standing in the international arena and against antisemitism.''This chapter has filled me with hope and optimism in the Israeli public, who have shown great perseverance in the face of COVID-19’s adversity,'' she wrote. ''I will continue to draw inspiration and strength from Olim, who come to Israel from around the globe, and will work to ensure our rightful place in contributing to the development of Israel – the Jewish and democratic state that is our home.'' Cotler-Wunsh has personally helped hundreds of immigrants in the Knesset. She has put an emphasis on helping lone soldiers and those prevented from visiting family members in Israel due to the coronavirus crisis.
COTLER-WUNSH was born in Jerusalem, attended the capital’s Noam School and then, from age eight, pluralist, Zionist schools in Montreal. At 17, she came back to Jerusalem to study at the Hebrew University. She served as a lone soldier, training underprivileged new recruits. She got her law degree at Hebrew University, clerked for future Supreme Court chief justice Miriam Naor at the Jerusalem Court of Appeals and worked as a lawyer in the public and private sectors.
She returned to Canada in 2000 with her husband, Rafi Wunsh, and their baby son and earned another degree at McGill University in Montreal. She returned to Israel a decade later with three more children, and since then has lived in Ra’anana, where she is part of the community of activist Rabbi Seth Farber.
Cotler-Wunsh has worked at Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya and was a research fellow of its International Institute for Counter-Terrorism. In that role, she met the Goldin family, whose deceased soldier son, Hadar, is being held captive in Gaza. She has advised the family for nearly four years, which led to her meeting Ya’alon, who is a relative of the Goldins.
As a citizen who returned to Israel, Cotler-Wunsh said she has a unique understanding of the new and veteran immigrants who “want to contribute to Israeli society” and “have a tremendous role to play.”