Former Shin Bet chief and current Bank Mizrahi chairman Yaakov Peri will run for
the 19th Knesset with Yesh Atid, its party leader Yair Lapid announced on
Lapid has yet to announce the rest of his list for the Knesset,
which must be submitted by the beginning of December.
believes, like I do, that we need to change the old political system, in which
politicians worry only about themselves instead of the citizens,” Lapid said at
a press conference in Tel Aviv.
The Yesh Atid leader praised his running
mate for his decades of service in security forces, adding that Peri brings
“brains and a lot of experience” to the campaign.
“I am happy and proud
that a man like Peri, who has been offered the most senior positions in the
country, chose to leave a comfortable, cushy career and join Yesh Atid in order
to serve the public,” Lapid said.
Peri led the Shin Bet during the first
intifada and in the immediate aftermath of the Oslo Accords, from
In 1995, Peri became CEO of Cellcom, a position he kept until
2003, and since then he has stayed in the business world, chairing Bank
Mizrahi’s board of directors and serving on the boards several other public
“I trust that Yair Lapid will bring significant and
comprehensive change, and decided to join and help him,” Peri said. “We
can make change and we must make change.”
The former Shin Bet chief
mentioned the system of government, education, housing and equality in the
burden of national service as areas that should be improved.
said he intends to resign as chairman of Bank Mizrahi and Magal Security
When asked how, with his business experience and wealth, he
decided to join a list that Lapid has said will represent the middle class, Peri
responded: “I do not accept claims that [the companies] exploited the middle
class. I did everything legally and under license, and served my
Peri added that he is glad there have been reforms in the
cellphone market that have increased competition and lowered prices, and hopes
that Yesh Atid can make the same happen in other markets.
week, Channel 2 reported that Lapid was looking for a former senior security
official to join his party, saying he offered former deputy IDF chief of staff
and current CEO of Better Place Israel Moshe Kaplinsky the number-two spot on