(photo credit: Courtesy)
Georgian-born journalist Nino Abesadze will enter the Knesset following the
suspension of Kadima MK Tzahi Hanegbi, who on Tuesday was found to have lied
under oath with criminal intent.
Abesadze, coming from a long and
prominent career in Russian-language media, was largely believed to be en route
to the parliament in the near future following the widely-anticipated departure
of Kadima MK Eli Aflalo, but said Tuesday morning on Israel Radio that her first
reaction to the news of Hanegbi’s conviction had been tears of
Abesadze began working as a journalist at Georgian State
Television at the age of 23, and two years later was appointed to serve as the
anchor for the station’s evening news program.
After immigrating to
Israel 14 years ago, she hosted a Russian-language program on Channel 33
Educational Television. She later switched to print media, serving as the
political commentator for the country’s leading Russian-language
Like fellow Russian-language journalist MK Yulia Shamolov
Berkovich, who replaced Kadima’s Haim Ramon in summer 2009, Abesadze entered the
Kadima list in 2008 in one of the four slots reserved for
However, she is likely to prove the antithesis to Berkovich,
who has staked out a place in the right wing of the centrist Kadima’s Knesset
faction on diplomatic issues, and Abesadze will enter the Knesset as perhaps the
faction’s most left-leaning member.
The veteran political correspondent
also served as the Russian-language coordinator for the dovish Geneva
Initiative, an organization more closely associated with former Meretz MK Yossi
Beilin than with Kadima. As such, she is considered a shoo-in for party
chairwoman Tzipi Livni’s Left- Center faction, as opposed to the faction loyal
to MK Shaul Mofaz, who was eager to jump ship for the Likud.