US-born MK's future in Lapid's hands as Likud forms English campaign

"We don't bring people to fit specific roles," Lapid says; Likud launches Anglo campaign team despite lack of US-born candidate.

January 18, 2015 22:16
2 minute read.

MK DOV LIPMAN (right) hands the ‘Separate in Peace, Live in Peace’ booklet to Finance Minister Yair Lapid yesterday.. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid declined to publicly reassure US-born MK Dov Lipman that he will be in the next Knesset at a Tel Aviv press conference Sunday alongside his new recruit, Hatnua MK Elazar Stern.

When Labor leader Isaac Herzog brought economist Manuel Trajtenberg into his list of candidates for the March 17 election, he reassured other socioeconomic figures in his party that their future was safe.

The Jerusalem Post asked Lapid if he could publicly do the same for Lipman, following the addition of Stern, who like Lipman is Orthodox yet spars frequently with the haredim.

“We don’t bring people to fit specific roles,” Lapid said. “If we did, Stern could fill many roles. But we judge candidates on their ability to work together to advance the causes we believe in.”

Lapid will reveal the order of his Knesset list at an event on January 26. He said he viewed Stern as the 20th Yesh Atid MK in the last Knesset. They cooperated on legislation on conversion reform, drafting the ultra-Orthodox and helping Holocaust survivors.

“Last Knesset, people on the street assumed I was in Yesh Atid, and I saw it as a compliment,” Stern said, claiming that his departure from Hatnua was his decision, and not that of party head Tzipi Livni.

Likud, which does not have a US-born candidate in a realistic slot, launched an Anglo campaign division Monday in an effort to engage voters from English-speaking countries.

The effort will be managed by consultants Elie Bennett and Jeremy Wimpfheimer, with the specific goal of increasing the number of Anglo voters supporting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party.

Estimates indicate more than 100,000 registered voters identify themselves as “Anglos.” The Likud is planning events and opportunities for English speakers to directly engage with the party’s candidates and create a conversation on issues of importance to Anglo voters.

“Presenting a specific campaign for Anglos is the truest indication of how the Likud appreciates the interests and perspectives of our community in the parliamentary process,” said Ari Harow, the Likud’s campaign manager.

“The Likud has proven itself as a party that embraces the traditions and values that many of us from the West cherish most and we believe that this will further strengthen the party in the next Knesset.”

He said the decision to initiate the targeted Anglo campaign was based on the Likud’s longstanding “big tent” philosophy and its commitment to ensure that all elements of society have a voice in Israel’s democratic system.

“Only a large party not beholden to smaller sectarian factions will allow for a stable government and ensure the Israeli public that they won’t find themselves back at the ballot box in two years,” Harow continued. “Anglo voters realize that the Likud is committed to passing a vital electoral reform plan that will undoubtedly improve the security and economic well-being of all Israelis.”

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