Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai announced on Tuesday he will run in the upcoming elections as the leader of a new party called "The Israelis."
Speaking at a press conference, Hudai said, "we have become accustomed to divisiveness and lying. We have become accustomed to an insane government, unable to govern anything. The worst thing you can do is get used to it, lay down your head and sink into despair."
"I refuse to do this. I am telling you today, we will not continue putting up with an indicted prime minister, with the hate, the damage to our democracy or the Supreme Court."
"I will no longer stand idly by, I am here to announce a new party," he said, recounting his history as an IDF fighter pilot, as an educator and as the mayor of Tel Aviv for the past 22 years.
He said his party will work to safeguard democracy and the justice system, create socially-minded reforms, care for small businesses, women’s and minorities’ rights, and oppose religious coercion, rampant violence in the Arab community and pushes to extend Israeli sovereignty over parts of the West Bank.
The 76-year-old also attacked a number of right-wing politicians who have voiced their opposition to sitting in a possible coalition with Netanyahu, saying that "the center-left camp need not vote for right-wingers Gideon Sa'ar, Ze'ev Elkin, Naftali Bennett and Bezalel Smotrich. Do you think they represent your values?" he said.
Huldai then presented his party's #2, Justice Minister Avi Nissenkorn, who had parted ways with Blue & White earlier Tuesday.
Nissenkorn praised Huldai’s leadership and warned the justice system was under an unprecedented threat and that Israel is at a "critical crossroad."
"Israeli democracy is at stake," he said. "We are facing the climax of a battle against a prime minister who is willing to hold the state budget hostage and demand in return the heads of the justice system."
"We will bring good news to hundreds of thousands of Israelis who feel that they don't have a political home -- and we will do this with actions and not words," h
Speaking ahead of Huldai and Nissenkorn, Blue & White leader Benny Gantz said that he will continue leading the party in the upcoming elections.
Earlier Tuesday, Gantz announced he asked Nissenkorn to resign from his position as justice minister after he defected to Huldai’s new party.
"Nissenkorn has chosen a new political home and is therefore expected to resign," Gantz said. "The justice portfolio is one of Blue & White’s most important assets to safeguard democracy and the rule of law, and we will continue acting the same way we have thus far."