Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) intends to run for prime minister in the future, she revealed Monday in a question and answer session at the Sami Shamoon College of Engineering in Beersheba.
Speaking ahead of International Women’s Day on Wednesday, Shaked was asked whether she saw Israel having another female prime minister and whether or not she herself would seek the post.
“It is not in my short-term plans, but long-term, definitely, I don’t rule anything out,” she said. “I don’t think the public chooses based on gender but based on who is the most fit. The sky is the limit.”
Shaked later clarified that she hopes her party leader, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, will succeed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and she was talking about the distant future for herself.
Shaked: Israel's struggle against terrorism did not start in 1967
“You know I’m for a female prime minister, but not necessarily Ayelet Shaked, or anyone else from their side of the political map, with their views and their tactics,” said Zionist Union faction head Merav Michaeli.
Golda Meir was prime minister from 1969 to 1974. In the 2009 election, Kadima, led by MK Tzipi Livni, won 29 seats, which was more than any other party, but she did not form a coalition, and Netanyahu became prime minister.
There are expected to be nine candidates for leader of the Labor Party, all of whom are male. Former Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich is running for Histadrut labor federation head instead.
Zionist Union MK Stav Shaffir, who is only 31, is under pressure from her supporters, as well as groups on social media, to join the race by the May 1 deadline.
Zionist Union MK Revital Swid said the next generation in the Labor Party is not ready to run yet and that it is unfair to say that all the current candidates are men.
“It is wrong to run a woman just because she is a woman,” she said.
In honor of International Women’s Day, Michaeli will preside over a bat mitzva ceremony for 200 girls at the Knesset on Tuesday. The girls won the privilege to take part by sending in videos with the hashtag #Choosetobeequal in Hebrew.