(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The party that ran on a platform of change in the last election two years ago promised more of the same Monday night when the Knesset list for Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid was announced at a high energy event at the College of Management in Rishon Lezion.
There are no significant changes on the list from its slate the last time, except that Eshkol Regional Council head Haim Yellin replaced MK Adi Kol in the top 10 and Hatnua MK Elazar Stern replaced Ethiopian MK Shimon Solomon in the 12th slot.
MK Boaz Toporovsky surprisingly received the biggest promotion, from the 18th spot to the 14th spot. MK Aliza Lavie received the biggest demotion, from seventh to 10th on the list that a Channel 2 poll predicted Monday would win nine seats.
Lapid will be followed on the list by MKs Shai Piron, Yael German, Meir Cohen, Yaakov Peri, Ofer Shelah, and Yellin, then by MKs Karin Elharar, Yoel Razbozov, Lavie, Mickey Levy, Stern, Pnina Tamnu-Shata, Toporovsky, Ruth Calderon, Yifat Kariv, Dov Lipman, and Ronen Hoffman.
Lipman, who was the first American-born candidate elected to the Knesset in 30 years, remained in the 17th slot that currently appears far from realistic. But he received a massive hug on stage from Lapid.
Each candidate introduced the next candidate on the list in a show of solidarity, with each announcement ending with the party’s new slogan that they were in “a fight for our country.”
The first candidate who will follow the MKs on the list is Zehorit Sorek, a religious lesbian mother of two who is married to a woman. There is also a Druse candidate on the list.
Lapid recounted his party’s accomplishments in the outgoing Knesset while criticizing Labor leader Isaac Herzog, who will be competing with Yesh Atid for votes. Lapid recalled that while Yesh Atid passed the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) draft law, Herzog remained outside the plenum, embracing Shas leader Arye Deri, who he called “a convicted felon.”
He also referred to Herzog remaining silent when questioned in the 1999 non-profit organizations scandal when he worked for then-Labor leader Ehud Barak.
“Only we can stop the corruption because we are the only party in which none of its leadership was investigated, suspected, remained silent during questioning, indicted or spent time in prison,” Lapid said. “I can’t believe I’m saying this as an achievement. It should be the standard. If your standard is that you only vote for straight and honest people, then there is only one party that you can vote for.”
On the diplomatic front, Lapid said “Israel needs a regional diplomatic solution with the moderate Arab states, which will allow us to separate from the Palestinians, guarantee strict security measures, disarm Gaza and rebuild the relations that [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu has destroyed with the United States and the international community.”