(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Maverick Shas MK Rabbi Haim Amsalem has launched a new political movement, Am
Shalem, which promises to “promote a unifying and tolerant Jewish
The movement aims to “combine keeping mitzvot and tradition
with open-mindedness, while dealing with the challenges of the era and
generation, guided by the great sages of Israel,” he said Wednesday.
January, Amsalem announced the formation of the social movement that would
strive to “return the crown” of moderate religious and Sephardi social activism
to its former glory – as per the founding principles of Shas.
believes these values now no longer reflect the spirit of Shas, and this was the
basis for the establishment of Wednesday’s new political movement.
Am Shalem – the Hebrew translation of Amsalem’s Moroccan name and also the
phrase “a whole nation” in Hebrew – the new movement will fight racial
discrimination in schools, promote the moderate Sephardi halachic approach in
public life, and encourage haredi children to learn core-curriculum subjects and
their parents to partake in the labor force.
insistence on those principles was part of the reason he was ousted from Shas in
According to a poll presented by Am Shalem, 6 percent of the
public said there were high or very high chances they would vote for Amsalem’s
movement, if it would participate in the next Knesset elections.
Shalem also announced on Wednesday it was embarking on “Operation Ten Thousand,”
to galvanize public support for the new movement and its leader in the public.