Tel Aviv Municpality building lit up in rainbow colors symbolizing LGBT pride.
(photo credit: NIV ELIS)
LGBTQ community leader Chen Arieli joined Tel Aviv mayoral candidate Asaf Zamir as his number three, several days after Zippi Brand Frank, a member of the city council’s Simu Lev Horim faction, announced that she had withdrawn herself as a mayoral candidate and merged with Zamir, running as his number two.
“I joined Asaf Zamir because I believe that the time has come to understand that there needs to be change,” Arieli wrote in a Facebook post on Monday.
Arieli has served as the chairman of Agudat Israel’s LGBT Task Force since 2015 and led a large-scale strike and demonstrations across the country over the summer against discriminatory surrogacy legislation.
“Those who know me know that I follow my heart, and my heart loves Asaf. And my heart believes him and in his desire to make the world better,” she continued.
She lauded Zamir for placing two women with clear agendas after him on his Rov Ha’ir Party list.
“We will uphold our opinions and we will bring the social and feminist spirit... with pride and joy we discovered... a real partner who knows how to be attentive also to criticism and to implement it, which is most important when revolutionizing. And that’s what we’re going to do – because the time has come.”
She also expressed pride in Yaniv Waizman, Tel Aviv council member, and founder and chairman of IGY (Israel Gay Youth), who gave up his spot for Arieli, taking the fourth slot on the list instead.
“If there is anyone worth vacating the third slot for, it’s Chen,” said Waizman. “Chen is not just a partner in the journey, campaigns, demonstrations and revolutions that have been done in recent years for the advancement of the LGBTQ community in Israel, but she is also a close friend with an exceptional person- ality. The LGBTQ community and the city of Tel Aviv-Jaffa made a huge win today.”
Zamir welcomed Arieli to the party on Sunday, saying: “We are on the road to a real revolution... after we announced last week that Tzipi Brand, Shelly Dvir and the Simu Lev Horim Move- ment [had] joined Rov Ha’ir, I am proud to announce today the new member of our list in the elections – Chen Arieli, chairman of the Agudat Israel’s LGBT Task Force, a social activist and an inspiring person in general.
“Chen’s past year was a year of dramatic action, with the leadership of the protest against discrimination, one of the biggest I remember here,” Zamir continued. “I have become deeply acquaint- edwithawomanwhoisa real leader and I am really proud that she chose to run with us. Together with Yaniv Waizman, my close friend and political partner for a decade, the Tel Aviv LGBT leadership is uniting under Rov Ha’ir as the home of the gay community, out of an understanding that this is the time to lead significant changes in the community and that this is the team that can lead them.”
The final candidates for the Tel Aviv mayoral race are incumbent mayor Ron Huldai; deputy mayor Zamir; TV presenter Assaf Harel who is backed by Hadash; and deputy mayor and Shas representative Natan Elnatan.
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