Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid at the Knesset.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid is promising English-speaking voters that he and his party will maintain contact with them even though there is no election in the immediate future.
Other Israeli political parties have formed English-speaking branches or divisions and some maintain English websites, but it is rare for a party to continue regular programming and host the party chairman when there is no general election in sight.
Lapid addressed some 40 English-speaking activists in the party’s Tel Aviv headquarters Tuesday night along with Yesh Atid’s English-speaking branch director, former MK Dov Lipman. The English branch has 60 primary activists from around the country, and the meeting gave them a chance to get to know one another and plan activities for the months ahead.
“It’s great to see so many English-speaking Israelis active in Yesh Atid,” said Lapid, who lived in London as a child when his father, the future justice minister Yosef (Tommy) Lapid, was the correspondent of the Ma’ariv newspaper. “English-speaking Israelis have moved here with a deep commitment to contributing to the State of Israel. The centrist, pragmatic and inclusive approach of Yesh Atid appeals the most to them. I look forward to continuing to connect and strengthen our ties to them in the months ahead.”
Lipman explained that the party would hold events throughout the year and Yesh Atid MKs, including Lapid, would be doing events in English all over Israel as part of the English branch’s new work plan.
In addition, Lipman will continue to hold “congressman hours” in the Knesset for any English speakers who have personal or communal issues that need to be addressed on a Knesset or government level.
He said most of the activists who attended Tuesday’s event reached out to Yesh Atid and asked to be involved.
“These activists will lead the way in the newly revamped English branch and also will participate in the activities of the national branch and the local Hebrew branches of Yesh Atid in their regions of the country,” he said.
Yesh Atid maintains an English website that includes the party platform, an active English Facebook page, and on Tuesday opened a twitter account.
The firstname.lastname@example.org email address is available for questions about the party and for new volunteers.