Yisrael Beiteinu’s Faina Kirshenbaum leaving politics amid corruption probe

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Faina Kirshenbaum, a senior lawmaker from the Yisrael Beiteinu party, said she was leaving politics while working to prove her innocence in a mass corruption probe.

Kirshenbaum, the deputy interior minister, announced on Monday that she will not run in the March elections for Knesset. She has served in the Knesset as a lawmaker from Yisrael Beiteinu since 2009.

At least 30 senior officials, many from Yisrael Beiteinu, were detained late last month and accused of corruption following a yearlong investigation. The officials are accused of accepting bribes and illegally funneling funds to NGOs.

“With a heavy heart, and after a long deliberation, I decided that under these circumstances I will not be investigated in a fair and adequate manner, and had no choice but to choose to exercise the right to remain silent,” Kirshenbaum, 59, said in a statement.”Since I understand that as a public figure remaining silent has many ramifications, I decided not to seek re-election, to leave public life and to invest my time in proving my innocence and to rehabilitate my family.”

Kirshenbaum’s daughter Ranit also was investigated and has been accused of corruption.