Israel apparently will have its first American-born Knesset member since the
late, firebrand Rabbi Meir Kahane nearly 30 years later in Maryland- native Dov
Lipman of Yesh Atid.
Lipman credited English speakers with his victory,
saying that he was amazed by how many shifted to Yesh Atid due to debates
sponsored by The Jerusalem Post.
“I thank all the voters who showed their
faith in me and in our party,” Lipman said. “I view this as an opportunity and a
responsibility to those who put me in office. I look forward to being in touch
with the entire English-speaking population regarding how my office can serve
their needs. I will give every ounce of energy I have to the people of
Three other American-born candidates ran unsuccessfully,
according to the exit polls.
Atlanta native Jeremy Gimpel, who was 14th
on the Bayit Yehudi list, said that 14 in Hebrew gematriya is yad, which means
“It is in God’s hands,” he said. “Regardless of the outcome of
these elections, that I was able to run for the Knesset of Israel in the most
exciting party of our generation – returning the Jewish soul to Israeli politics
and pride in our shared Jewishness – what more could I ask for?” Gimpel, who is
32, said his political career had just begun.
“I told my children never
take for granted the right to choose our leaders after all we’ve been through as
a people,” Gimpel said. “My eyes still fill with tears when I get behind that
blue cardboard box.”
Alon Tal of the Tzipi Livni Party, who was born in
New Jersey and raised in North Carolina, said that when his Green Movement
joined Livni it was not only about getting him a seat in the Knesset, but rather
about influencing the agenda – and transforming the DNA of a new
“Although I may be a little bit disappointed, I recognize this to
be an important day for Israel’s environmental movement,” said Tal, who was 13th
on Livni’s list. “We finally have a large party that has adopted a green
There is a long list of things that Israel needs us to do to get
this country on a sustainable track. The Green Movement has taken on the
responsibility of making this happen via the Tzipi Livni Party, and God willing,
we will be up to the task.”
Boston-born Baruch Marzel, whose Strong
Israel party did not cross the threshold according to most exit polls, said he
expected the real results to be different.
“I am still optimistic that I
will be in the Knesset,” he said.