(photo credit: Courtesy)
Former Channel 1 Knesset and economic affairs correspondent Naftali Ben-Simon announced Monday that he wants to return to the parliament, this time as an MK.
Ben-Simon’s brother Daniel, who is also a journalist, was a dovish Knesset member from 2009 to 2013 with the Labor Party. But Naftali Ben-Simon said his views are different, and he intends to run for a seat in the next Knesset with Likud.
“I will fight fiercely to prevent the Left from changing the character of the country,” Ben-Simon said. “They don’t care about peace.
I don’t accept the tiredness of the Left. The Likud is a pragmatic, centrist party. The Left has nice ideas, but only the Likud can implement them.”
Ben-Simon purposely announced his decision to enter politics before the next campaign has begun, because he wants to start making connections with power brokers in Likud. To that end, he will be going to upcoming Likud events in hometown Kiryat Yam, as well in Dimona, Yeroham, Ashdod, and at Transportation Minister Israel Katz’s Succa in Kfar Ahim.
“I enjoyed crisscrossing the country as a reporter,” he said. “I am looking forward to getting back into the field. I will travel all over.
I feel like a flower that has blossomed.”
The Moroccan-born Ben-Simon first worked in the Knesset as a parliamentary aide to then- MK Shimon Sheetrit. He said he always felt connected to politics, and he impressed his 10th-grade teacher by knowing the names of all the Knesset members.
Ben-Simon wrote on his Facebook page that, already in high school, he felt a connection to the politics of then-prime minister Menachem Begin and the Likud’s ideology.
“I kept my feelings and views about Israeli society, economy, and the divisiveness of the Left in my belly during my 20 years as a reporter,” he wrote.
There were nine Ben-Simon brothers in the family, and there were more than two parties represented at the Shabbat table, where they often argued about politics. Daniel Ben-Simon declined to say whether he would attempt a political comeback.
“The dream of my mother is that we will both be there in the Knesset together,” Naftali Ben-Simon said.