Meet Ruth Wasserman Lande, Blue and White's new MK raised in Cape Town

"I know that I am stepping into a complicated situation politically."

Ruth Wasserman Lande, the newest Blue and White MK. (photo credit: Courtesy)
Ruth Wasserman Lande, the newest Blue and White MK.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Knesset will have its first MK raised in South Africa since Revisionist leader Shmuel Katz served in the first Knesset Friday at 2pm, when Ruth Wasserman Lande enters the parliament in place of Blue and White's Einav Kabla, who resigned on Wednesday.
Wasserman Lande will also fall in the footsteps of former foreign minister and MK Abba Eban, who was born in Cape Town and left for England at age three, because she became a Foreign Ministry-trained diplomat. She was born in Israel and then lived in Cape Town, where she attended the Herzliya High School. She later studied at Oxford University’s St. Anthony’s College and at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government on a Wexner Fellowship. She has served as an adviser to president Shimon Peres, a deputy ambassador at the Israeli Embassy in Cairo and the deputy director-general for international affairs at the Israeli Federation of Local Authorities.
In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, she said she was excited to get messages from her South African school friends across the globe since The Post first wrote that should be entering the Knesset. Most of her family lives in Los Angeles. 
"I feel a huge amount of responsibility," she said. "I know that it's for a very short time, and that I am stepping into a complicated situation politically. This is an opportunity to sound out on issues I feel strongly about."
The key issue for Wasserman Lande is unity in Israeli society, including for minorities, with whom she has worked for many years, as a fluent Arabic speaker. She said that since her aliyah at age 17.5, she has been disturbed by what she called the "chasms" between Israeli sectors. 
"As a child I saw separate benches in South Africa, even though apartheid was illegal," she recalled. "After that, it was shocking to me to see people so antagonistic to one another in Israel. I have truly worked hard to bring people here together. Society needs to be strong and respectful." 
Wasserman Lande will be sworn in and will deliver her maiden address to the Knesset on Monday.