Lack of faith in Olmert. Yatom
Photo: Niv Calderon

Danny Yatom resigns from Knesset

In unpredictable move, Labor MK announces he is resigning, leaving political life; cites lack of confidence in PM, government as reason. 'Yatom's resignation testimony to declining state of politics,' says Likud MK Gideon Sa'ar

Labor Knesset Member Danny Yatom unexpectedly announced Monday he was resigning from the Knesset and leaving the political arena altogether. Yatom has been a Knesset member for the past five years. Taking his place as an MK will be Labor's Lion Litinsky.


Yatom told his fellow MKs the decision was rooted in his lack of faith in Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.


"The government has failed and Olmert must go," he said. "I have been deliberating for a long while on whether to quit. This sensation became stronger after the investigation (launched against Olmert). I will not continue my political career, and my resignation is final. "I hope my resignation will relay a message to the public that we must not accept this reality."  


Yatom added that he felt he had no in-house influence as an MK. "I cant give a vote of confidence to a government which has turned its political survival to an ideology, and politics into a reality in which morals, honesty and incorruptibility are constantly trampled on," he said.


Yatom, who is also a member of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, voted in favor of the special security situation in Sderot and the Gaza vicinity communities to be extended, shortly before his announcement.


Yatom, 63, a retired IDF brigadier general and a former Mossad chief, has served in a variety of high ranking positions in the defense establishment. He is the second Labor MK to resign in the past few months – former MK Efraim Sneh stepped down in favor of forming a new political party.


Lion Litinsky, 40, who was named Yatom's replacement, told Ynet that he was "looking forward to being the immigrants' representative in the Knesset.


I'm sorry about Yatom's decision. Labor is losing a brilliant politician and a man I call my friend," he said.


Yatom's announcement stunned many of his colleagues form other political parties as well. MK Gideon Sa'ar, chairman of the Likud faction said that his departure "is very regrettable and is indicative of the accelerated decline of politics. This is the resignation of a moral, conscientious man who refused to bow down his principles."


Secretary General of the Labor Party Eitan Cabel lamented Yatom's resignation from the Knesset.


"Yatom represents uncompromising integrity, and he constituted the central pillar of the party throughout his service in office," he said. "I am positive that Yatom, who has donated much to the country throughout his life, will continue to do so outside of the Knesset's boundaries, and I wish him success."


Amnon Meranda contributed to this report 


פרסום ראשון: 06.30.08, 16:17
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