Bennett denies celebrity doctor is target for Yamina list

Yamina leader wants to bring half a million Jews from US, France to volunteer against coronavirus

Professor Gabriel Barbash  (photo credit: WEIZMANN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE)
Professor Gabriel Barbash
Sources close to Yamina leader Naftali Bennett denied a report in the Israel Hayom newspaper on Tuesday that he is targeting celebrity doctor Gabriel Barbash for his list in the next election.
Barbash is a former CEO of Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv and served as Health Ministry director-general. His analyses on the top rated Channel 12 news have made him a respected authority, and his rejection of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s offer to become coronavirus commissioner made the reports about him targeted by Bennett credible.
Sources close to Bennett said the candidates being wooed would be kept a secret until just ahead of the next election. But they admitted that such speculation about who could join Yamina serves Bennett well.
“There are deliberate leaks to score points and distract from the people we are really talking to,” one source in the party said. “It’s in our interest to create the impression that we’re the place to be.”
Bennett told Israel Hayom over the weekend that Yamina would expand from a religious-Zionist niche party and run a varied list of right-wing candidates. He wants the candidates to include current MKs from multiple parties and professionals who are not yet household names.
In the interview, he compared himself to an iPhone 12 and Netanyahu to an old Nokia phone. He said Israel needed to bring half a million young people from the US and France to volunteer in the fight against the coronavirus.