Lapid stalling persuades Nevzlin to quit Agency race

ANU Museum of the Jewish People director Irina Nevzlin grew tired of repeated delays in the government announcing its candidate for chairman.

Chairwoman of the Board at the Museum of the Jewish People Irina Nevzlin. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Chairwoman of the Board at the Museum of the Jewish People Irina Nevzlin.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

ANU – Museum of the Jewish People director Irina Nevzlin announced on Monday night that she was leaving the race for chairman of the Jewish Agency.

Nevzlin grew tired of repeated delays in the government announcing its candidate for the plum post. Foreign Minister Yair Lapid reiterated at Monday’s Yesh Atid faction meeting that he had a candidate for agency chairman but once again declined to reveal the candidate’s identity.

“Due to the lengthening of the election process, some of the initiatives which I am regularly engaged in have been suspended,” Nevzlin wrote the agency selection committee. “After much consideration and in light of the length of the ongoing process, I would like to inform you that at this point I have decided to withdraw my candidacy for the position of chairman of the Jewish Agency.”

Nevzlin ran an unconventional campaign under the leadership of strategist Shmulik Villain, who also worked for former religious services minister Rafi Peretz. She was the only candidate who refused to give any interviews or take any public steps that could have persuaded the government or the selection committee to support her candidacy.

The Jewish Agency headquarters in Jerusalem (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)The Jewish Agency headquarters in Jerusalem (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Her departure left seven candidates: Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, Bar-Ilan University law professor Yaffa Zilbershats, former MKs Michal Cotler-Wunsh, Danny Danon, Uzi Dayan, Michael Oren and former Diaspora Affair minister Omer Yankelevich.

Agency honcho Josh Schwarcz was at the Knesset all day for key meetings.