Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg.
(photo credit: Mark Neiman / GPO)
Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg, head of the governmentappointed Committee for Social
Change that formed following the 2011 social protests, is considering a run for
the 19th Knesset, while the Likud looks for new, socially minded candidates to
add to its list.
Trajtenberg, who is also chairman of the Planning and
Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education, spoke to former Kadima
leader Tzipi Livni about the possibility of joining her should she form a new
party, sources close to Livni said.
Livni also met with President Shimon
Peres on Tuesday.
The professor’s spokesman Sharon Ahdut said Tuesday
that Trajtenberg was still debating whether to enter politics.
Trajtenberg enjoys his work in academia, but is concerned about the economy,”
Ahdut would not confirm or deny that Trajtenberg met with
Livni this week, but said he had received offers from several
Meanwhile, a Likud source said the party was looking for
high-profile and socially involved primary candidates to fill the void left by
communications minister Moshe Kahlon’s resignation last week
option would be to bring the candidates into the party list after the primary,
the source stated.
One name that has come up in the party is Rami Levy,
owner of the eponymous discount supermarket chain, who was spotted with MK
Carmel Shama-Hacohen (Likud) at a Jerusalem restaurant late Monday
The Likud source said Levy may be too obvious a choice to replace
Kahlon, because, like the minister, the supermarket mogul is Sephardi, is
socially conscious and reached success after growing up in poverty.
and Shama-Hacohen both said they had run into each other coincidentally and had
not discussed politics.
“If I were going to discuss political plans, I
wouldn’t do it in Tal Bagels,” Levy quipped.
“I’m not interested in going
in that direction, and anyway Shama-Hacohen wouldn’t be the person to ask me to
Finally, the source said, the party may be interested in
recruiting Netanya Mayor Miriam Feirberg, who ran for her position as a Likud
Feirberg refused to comment, but a source close to the Netanya
mayor said she had received many offers before the 2009 election and was likely
to get more this year.