Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked held a joint press conference with Alona Barkat, the newest candidate to join The New Right party, on Thursday evening.
All three- Bennett and Shaked, who both spoke briefly to welcome Barkat before the outgoing Hapoel Beersheba owner addressed the media herself- echoed the same message: bringing the social revolution Barkat created in Beersheba to the entire country.
Bennett, speaking first, recounted how Barkat took on the soccer club, and through the sport created a social change in the entire city.
After acquiring Hapoel Beersheba in 2007, Barkat invested money and efforts into the youth department, emphasizing educational activities and community connection. Her efforts climaxed in the 2016 national triumph of the soccer team, after Beersheba had not won the title in 40 years.
"With patience and determinism Alona taught us how to bring about change," Bennett lauded her. "Alona is the essence of the beautiful Israel."
Shaked also emphasized the social revolution of Beersheba through Barkat.
Barkat "wants do in Israel what she did in Beersheba," Shaked said.
"Every child should have the same opportunity," Shaked continued, adding that "those who dare, succeed."
Barkat herself related the difficult decision she had to take in leaving the Hapoel club and fans, but said that she decided to join the New Right because they are a "team of dreamers and believers," but also a team that takes initiative and goes after its beliefs.
Barkat also said that she wants to mirror her work in Beersheba on the national level.
"Israel needs social healing," Barkat said.
"Every child needs to know and believe that they can if they try," she continued, adding that she believed in the cooperation of the entire people, regardless of religious or political affiliation.
Barkat is the seventh person to join The New Right. Beside Bennett and Shaked, who founded the party in late December, and Shuli Mualem who joined them when they left Bayit Yehudi, the party unveiled each new candidate with great fanfare. Caroline Glick, Shirly Pinto and Matan Kahana are the three other candidates on the New Right list so far.
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