Yair Lapid's party says "we've come to change;" top 20 of the list is almost half women, including Herzliya mayor Yael German.
By YONAH JEREMY BOBPublished: DECEMBER 2, 2012 21:13Advertisement
Yesh Atid announced its full Knesset list on Sunday night at a press conference in Shoham.The party, led by Yair Lapid, also unveiled its official campaign slogan, “We’ve come to change.”Almost half of the top 20 people on the list are women, something the party has emphasized in trying to distinguish itself from other parties as being a “new kind of politics,” in which they practice what they preach with more than a small symbolic quota of women.The top woman on the list is Yael German, mayor of Herzliya, who has been strongwilled in defending the party against tough media questions.The list also includes a number of religious candidates, including Rabbi Shai Piron at No. 2, Prof. Aliza Lavie at No. 7 and Rabbi Dov Lipman at No. 17.The list boasts two Ethiopian Israelis, Shimon Solomon and Pnina Tamnu-Shata.With current polls predicting a Yesh Atid delegation of 10 seats, Solomon is just beyond the cut for getting a Knesset seat, but is close enough to be a possible addition to the slowly growing Ethiopian representation in the Knesset.Tamnu-Shata is out of striking distance, but still makes the composition of the top of the list more diverse.Solomon is also a representative of the South and rose higher on the list from what had been predicted over the last month and after the war.The list also includes Salim Kador, who is Druse, at No. 23.Speaking after presenting the candidates, Lapid said the problem with other parties and politics is that everyone says “you need an enemy.”The Yesh Atid leader said he rejected this style of politics, noting “we don’t want to play” since if “we have any enemy, it’s cynicism, people who see there is no reason to try to change, people who give [up], and just say the state has fallen apart.”Lapid worried aloud that, “two-thirds of parents say they don’t care if their children leave Israel.” He responded to this statistic as a “terrible number,” saying the country needs to change.Next, trying to stick to his attitude of doing things differently, each candidate for Knesset introduced one of the other candidates.After each introduction, each candidate repeated that the next candidate “came to change.”Lapid described his list as “not looking the same, from different backgrounds, disciplines and areas of the country.”But, he said, they were all united around the same beliefs “on 80 percent of the time” and in dialogue the “other 20% of the time.”Lapid said education problems are so severe that without change, in the next generation “no one will be able to invent things like Iron Dome.” He attacked by implication Tzipi Livni, complaining of politicians that only care about getting public money.Livni recently gained NIS 9 million in public funding by taking seven current Kadima members of Knesset into her new party.Unlike his implied attack on Livni, he explicitly slammed Construction and Housing Minister Ariel Attias for, as he described it, undermining housing reforms to focus on his own constituency.Hitting on one of his regular points of the wastefulness of having so many ministers, including those without portfolio, he appeared to express pity for Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz, in that when he quit the government, he quit a “fake” ministry where he “had no job.”Lapid returned to his message of criticizing haredim for not serving in the army, or at least different paths of national service.One path he mentioned was assisting Holocaust survivors.He said, “Ask the two rabbis in Yesh Atid if any rabbi could look you in the eye and say that assisting Holocaust survivors is a waste of Torah study time.”Lapid next declared that Israel needs to stop “pretending that there is no dispute with the Palestinians,” and that the dispute requires action to resolve the situation.Significant speculation has surrounded Yesh Atid’s list since early elections were announced, with many of the candidates being announced gradually.But with the Likud and Labor party lists set as of this past week, and the deadline for setting Knesset lists only days away, Yesh Atid’s list is finally set in stone.Media reports on the list from around a month ago proved mostly accurate with a few small changes.
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