Despite 4 MKs out, Kulanu says everything is fine

With so many Kulanu MKs announcing their departures within two days, it helped create the impression that the party is imploding. Kulanu has 10 legislators, plus Kahlon, who is not an MK.

Kulanu leader Moshe Kahlon (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Kulanu leader Moshe Kahlon
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Four out of Kulanu’s 10 MKs are leaving the party, with three of them already announcing their departure this week.
It started with Deputy Minister for Diplomacy Michael Oren, who announced on Sunday that he will not run with the party for the next Knesset.
Then on Monday, Kulanu leader and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon fired Yoav Gallant from his position as housing and construction minister. The two released a statement that the separation was mutual, but Gallant had long been eyeing a move to the Likud and had even attended party events. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave Gallant the Aliyah and Integration Ministry folder so that he could remain a member of the security cabinet.
Shortly after, MK Rachel Azaria said that she would not seek reelection to the Knesset either. Azaria is more liberal than others in her party and has clashed with Kahlon on various social issues.
And finally, MK Eli Alalouf, 73, has long said that he plans to retire after his freshman term as a lawmaker.
With so many Kulanu MKs announcing their departure within two days, it helped create the impression that the party is imploding. Kulanu has 10 legislators, plus Kahlon, who is not an MK.
But Kulanu has denied that there’s anything unusual going on.
“That’s politics,” Kulanu spokesman Omri Sheinfeld said. “There is a lot of turnover. A third of the Knesset changes after each election. It’s natural.”
Sheinfeld also said that, contrary to reports, Kahlon did not seek to push Oren and Gallant out because he wants a list filled only by people who focus on socioeconomic issues. Kulanu is a party that deals with all of Israel’s major issues, and Kahlon has spent many hours in the security cabinet during the past four years.
The rest of Kulanu’s MKs are expected to remain with the party in the next election, and at least one addition has been made known: Nadav Scheinberger, Kahlon’s aide for the past decade.