rabbi dov lipman.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Yesh Atid’s refusal to take a paid position in the World Zionist Executive left former MKs Dov Lipman and Pnina Tamnu-Shata without a job in the World Zionist Organization deal that was signed on Tuesday.
The WZO deal, which was finalized at 2 a.m., divides both salaried and volunteer positions among the parties and religious streams that make up the organization. Yesh Atid was the only party not to sign the agreement.
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid was not willing to authorize a deal that gave the WZO’s chairmanship and settlement division to Bayit Yehudi and the leadership of the Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund’s education department to Shas. He said his party was formed to fight political corruption, thus he could not be part of such a deal.
But former Yesh Atid MKs Dov Lipman and Pnina Tamnu-Shata lost out as a result of Lapid’s principled position. Yesh Atid was given a post on the Zionist Executive as well as the chairmanship of the Herzl Institute, with a salary similar to that of a cabinet minister (close to NIS 40,000 a month), which would have gone to one of the former MKs.
Yesh Atid director-general Gil Segal confirmed that Lipman and Tamnu- Shata were the leading candidates for the post. But he said the party needed to maintain its principles.
“The personal angle is less important than the ideological,” Segal said.
“That’s the whole point.”
Lipman responded: “I am proud of Yesh Atid taking a strong stance against corruption and this is among the reasons why I joined and continue to be active in such a principled party.” Tamnu-Shata could not be reached.
Yesh Atid remains part of the WZO, accepting volunteer posts. It is in a faction with the Conservative Movement’s Zionist arm, MERCAZ, which did sign the agreement and received a bolstered WZO vice chairman post for Dr. David Breakstone.
In accordance with the deal, the Likud will continue to control the Jewish Agency and Keren Hayesod; the Reform Movement is in charge of the Diaspora department; and Meretz has a Jewish Agency deputy chairman.
Kulanu received the post of co-chairman of KKL, which it gave to former Likud and Yisrael Beytenu minister Uzi Landau. Shas received the KKL’s education department leadership posts, which may go to former Bayit Yehudi deputy education minister Yigal Bibi.
Labor received two posts in the World Zionist Executive – the KKL chairmanship, which will go to MK Dani Atar, and the education department of the WZO. Party chairman Isaac Herzog earmarked the position for his former campaign manager and director-general Shimon Batat.
But in a blow to Herzog, Labor’s delegates to the WZO rejected Batat by one vote, in favor of Argentinian- born Silvio Joskowicz, who was on the World Zionist Executive in the previous term and formerly headed the Habonim Dror youth movement.
“Labor delegates are smart and vote independently,” Joskowicz said. “I don’t see it as a blow to Herzog.
He made sure the vote would be fair and democratic.”