Former Kulanu MK Merav Ben-Ari joins Yesh Atid

Ben-Ari was very public about having a child with a gay man

Merav Ben-Ari with Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, February 1, 2021 (photo credit: RAANAN COHEN)
Merav Ben-Ari with Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, February 1, 2021
(photo credit: RAANAN COHEN)
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, who has been very selective in who he has added to his party, announced on Monday that former Kulanu MK Merav Ben-Ari would be a Yesh Atid candidate in the March 23 election.
Until now, the only addition Lapid made was former minister Merav Cohen from Blue and White. He has rejected many people who sought to run with Yesh Atid and all political mergers with other parties. 
Channel 12 Knesset correspondent Daphna Liel reported on social media that two years ago, Ben-Ari called Lapid "the worst finance minister ever."
Ben-Ari served  between 2015 and 2019 in the Knesset, where she focused on advancing laws and initiatives with a primary focus on young people and students, at risk-youth, the elderly and the LGBT community. She was chosen five times in a row as the most socially-conscious coalition Knesset Member by the Mishmar Hahevrarti's Socioeconomic Index.
She has a law degree and an MBA with a specialization in public leadership. She served as head of the IDC Herzliya Student Union between 2003-2004 and was the first woman to hold that role. In 2013 she was elected to the Tel Aviv City Council before her election to the Knesset two years later..
Merav lives in Tel Aviv with her daughter. She made news in 2016, when she announced that she was pregnant via in-vitro fertilization with a close friend, Ophir, 41, who is gay and who would raise the child with her.
“When I was 38, I realized time is passing and I’m still not in a serious relationship, but I didn’t want to wait anymore and decided to have a child," she said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post then. "Unlike with men, women don’t have endless time."
Ben-Ari, who is heterosexual, said she thinks it’s important for children to have a mother and a father if possible, and she didn’t think she’d be able to handle the undertaking alone. The arrangement between her and Ophir will be as if the child “has two homes and divorced parents who are still good friends,” she said.
Her decision to make her choice public was carefully thought out, Ben- Ari explained.
“I want to set an example and be a role model for other women who are successful but are worried about taking this step,” she said. “I also don’t want people telling stories, since I’m single and in the Knesset. I don’t need all the gossip. This is the truth, this is what I did, now let’s move on.”