New Yesh Atid candidate Ofer Shelach on Wednesday said that the party was “an
unusual opportunity to effect real change in the manner in which we run our
lives,” in a YouTube video distributed to the media.
Shelach added that
the change he was advocating is “not only a technical or cosmetic change, but
rather a profound change, and I want to be a part of this.”
Wednesday was Shelach’s formal announcement of joining the party, the Ma’ariv
journalist quit his job on Tuesday and party spokeswoman Nili Richman confirmed
the same day that he was involved in formulating party leader Yair Lapid’s major
diplomatic-security policy speech Tuesday night.
Shelach also said that
he has known Lapid for a long time, and he trusts and believes in his “ability
to actually implement” the real change the party seeks.
During a live
chat on Facebook Wednesday in which users of the social media network were
invited to ask him questions, Shelach hinted that he has received a prominent
place on the party list. He would not reveal his number, but affirmed he was
happy with his spot.
Answering the question of why he was entering
politics now, Shelach stated that his career in journalism was a large factor in
his sense of urgency to act, modify and fix fundamental aspects of the way the
country is being run.
However, he said not all journalists could be
lumped together, denying any connection between his entry into politics and
Haaretz’s Miki Rosenthal’s joining the Labor party.
When questioned on
which issues were most important to him, Shelach named security as his first and
He also listed economic and social issues, contending
that all of these issues are linked.
Regarding drafting haredim into the
army, he sounded themes similar to Lapid’s, saying the question is a broader one
of how the state has changed, and implied that there must be alternative paths
to national service for the ultra- Orthodox.
Shelach also noted that he
understood the frustrations of the social justice protests and of Israeli-Arab
citizens demanding equal treatment.
He emphasized his belief in Yesh
Atid’s principles, and said the party would only join a government that would
enable it to fulfill its goals.
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