Number three on the Yamina party Knesset slate, Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi, on Monday morning resigned from the Knesset. Davidi informed Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett of his decision not to be sworn in for the 24th Knesset this coming Tuesday. Davidi’s resignation is a likely indication of his concern that Bennett will try to form a coalition government with the left-wing bloc and with the support of the Arabs, which is not acceptable to him and, presumably, to Yamina voters. Davidi will be replaced by the number 8-slated Idit Silman, a health-marketing specialist. Silman surrendered her 7th slot before the March 23 election.
החלטתי להישאר בתפקידי כראש העיר שדרות.
הצטרפתי לימינה מתוך אמון עמוק במנהיגותו של נפתלי בנט ומתוך אמונה בערכי התנועה, אהבת העם והארץ, ביצועיסטיות ושליחות ציבורית עמוקה, ועודני מאמין במפלגה ובחבריי לדרך.
אני מודה לחברי, נפתלי בנט, ומגבה אותו בפעולותיו להבאת ממשלה יציבה ומתפקדת. pic.twitter.com/gyusMx7jst
— Alon Davidi אלון דוידי (@AlonDavidi) April 5, 2021
Davidi tweeted Monday morning: “I decided to stay in my position as mayor of Sderot. I joined Yamina out of a deep belief in the leadership of Naftali Bennett and out of a belief in the values of the movement, the love for the people and the land, a stress on a performance-based mission, and I still believe in the party and my fellow travelers. I thank my friend Naftali Bennett and support him in his efforts to bring about a stable and functioning government.”
According to Kipa, Davidi, 47, who joined Yamina about three months ago, will lead the party’s municipal activities.
The resignation is further proof of the reports that Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid has struck a deal with Bennett for a coalition government with a reasonable chance to unseat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The process will likely begin with a minority coalition government that may rely on the support—but not membership—of one or two Arab factions, to be followed by the replacement of Likud Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin by Yesh Atid MK Meir Cohen, and—so goes the plan—the addition of United Torah Judaism to the new government.
Bennett responded to Davidi’s statement, saying, “Alon Davidi is a valued and talented member and leader. Alon decided to remain in his position as mayor of Sderot and therefore will not be sworn in as a Knesset member. Alon continues in Yamina, and will lead the municipal activity of the movement in full swing.”
During the July-August 2014 Gaza war, after rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Sderot in violation of a ceasefire, then-Likud member Mayor Davidi launched a scathing attack on then-Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. After the end of the war, Davidi apologized to Ya’alon for his remarks. In the run-up to the 24th Knesset elections, on January 31, 2021, Davidi announced that he was leaving the Likud and joining the Yamina party, in its third slot.