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Journalist Shelach gets high spot on Yesh Atid list
By YONAH JEREMY BOB AND TAMARA ZIEVE
01/11/2012
New politician says party provides "unusual opportunity to effect real change," lists security, economic, social issues as top concerns.
 
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.”

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Although 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 foremost concern.

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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