Former Shin Bet chief Peri joins Lapid's Yesh Atid

Lapid has yet to announce the rest of his list for the Knesset, which must be submitted by the beginning of December.

Yair Lapid 370 (photo credit: Ricardo Mallaco)
Yair Lapid 370
(photo credit: Ricardo Mallaco)
Former Shin Bet chief and current Bank Mizrahi chairman Yaakov Peri will run for the 19th Knesset with Yesh Atid, its party leader Yair Lapid announced on Tuesday.
Lapid has yet to announce the rest of his list for the Knesset, which must be submitted by the beginning of December.
“Yaakov Peri believes, like I do, that we need to change the old political system, in which politicians worry only about themselves instead of the citizens,” Lapid said at a press conference in Tel Aviv.
The Yesh Atid leader praised his running mate for his decades of service in security forces, adding that Peri brings “brains and a lot of experience” to the campaign.
“I am happy and proud that a man like Peri, who has been offered the most senior positions in the country, chose to leave a comfortable, cushy career and join Yesh Atid in order to serve the public,” Lapid said.
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Peri led the Shin Bet during the first intifada and in the immediate aftermath of the Oslo Accords, from 1988-1994.
In 1995, Peri became CEO of Cellcom, a position he kept until 2003, and since then he has stayed in the business world, chairing Bank Mizrahi’s board of directors and serving on the boards several other public companies.
“I trust that Yair Lapid will bring significant and comprehensive change, and decided to join and help him,” Peri said. “We can make change and we must make change.”
The former Shin Bet chief mentioned the system of government, education, housing and equality in the burden of national service as areas that should be improved.
Peri also said he intends to resign as chairman of Bank Mizrahi and Magal Security Systems.
When asked how, with his business experience and wealth, he decided to join a list that Lapid has said will represent the middle class, Peri responded: “I do not accept claims that [the companies] exploited the middle class. I did everything legally and under license, and served my customers.”
Peri added that he is glad there have been reforms in the cellphone market that have increased competition and lowered prices, and hopes that Yesh Atid can make the same happen in other markets.
Earlier this week, Channel 2 reported that Lapid was looking for a former senior security official to join his party, saying he offered former deputy IDF chief of staff and current CEO of Better Place Israel Moshe Kaplinsky the number-two spot on his list.