Trajtenberg considers a run for the Knesset

Committee for Social Change chairman meets with Tzipi Livni; Likud is looking for new socially-minded candidates.

Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg (photo credit: Mark Neiman / GPO)
Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg
(photo credit: Mark Neiman / GPO)
Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg, head of the governmentappointed Committee for Social Change that formed following the 2011 social protests, is considering a run for the 19th Knesset, while the Likud looks for new, socially minded candidates to add to its list.
Trajtenberg, who is also chairman of the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education, spoke to former Kadima leader Tzipi Livni about the possibility of joining her should she form a new party, sources close to Livni said.
Livni also met with President Shimon Peres on Tuesday.
The professor’s spokesman Sharon Ahdut said Tuesday that Trajtenberg was still debating whether to enter politics.
“Prof. Trajtenberg enjoys his work in academia, but is concerned about the economy,” Ahdut said.
Ahdut would not confirm or deny that Trajtenberg met with Livni this week, but said he had received offers from several parties.
Meanwhile, a Likud source said the party was looking for high-profile and socially involved primary candidates to fill the void left by communications minister Moshe Kahlon’s resignation last week.
Another option would be to bring the candidates into the party list after the primary, the source stated.
One name that has come up in the party is Rami Levy, owner of the eponymous discount supermarket chain, who was spotted with MK Carmel Shama-Hacohen (Likud) at a Jerusalem restaurant late Monday night.
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The Likud source said Levy may be too obvious a choice to replace Kahlon, because, like the minister, the supermarket mogul is Sephardi, is socially conscious and reached success after growing up in poverty.
Levy and Shama-Hacohen both said they had run into each other coincidentally and had not discussed politics.
“If I were going to discuss political plans, I wouldn’t do it in Tal Bagels,” Levy quipped.
“I’m not interested in going in that direction, and anyway Shama-Hacohen wouldn’t be the person to ask me to join Likud.”
Finally, the source said, the party may be interested in recruiting Netanya Mayor Miriam Feirberg, who ran for her position as a Likud member.
Feirberg refused to comment, but a source close to the Netanya mayor said she had received many offers before the 2009 election and was likely to get more this year.