Following in the footsteps of Labor's Dalia Itzik
and well-known Israeli journalist Sheli Yehimovitch
founder and Herzlia Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) president Uriel Reichman became the latest acquisition in the political marketplace, after accepting an offer from Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
on Tuesday to join Sharon's new party, Kadima
Reichman will be Kadima's candidate for education minister in the next cabinet and will also handle issues related to changing Israel's system of government.
Meanwhile, senior Sharon advisor Lior
Horev said Tuesday that Shimon Peres
has decided to leave the Labor Party and join Ariel Sharon's next government.
However, Peres would not join Kadima, Horev explained.
"Tomorrow, he (Peres) will have a news conference," Horev said. "He will leave the Labor Party ... and will join the Sharon government and deal with the (development of) Galilee and the Negev," Horev said.
Sharon's associates said late Monday night that Peres had finalized his decision to leave Labor.
Sharon met with Reichman on Sunday and asked him to join Kadima. The IDC president is seen as Kadima's staffing answer to former Ben Gurion University of the Negev
president Avishay Braverman, who joined Labor on Thursday
Reichman's defection also strikes a blow to Shinui, since he was instrumental in bringing Yosef Lapid to the centrist party and served until Tuesday as head of Shinui's board of directors.
Lapid and Reichman have had several confrontations over the past year, culminating in Reichman's opposition to Lapid's plan to present the current Shinui list of party candidates to the next Knesset unchanged.
Reichman, who is also the head of the Constitution for Israel movement, was visibly absent from a meeting of Shinui's council last Thursday in Tel Aviv.
Polls have shown that Kadima has taken away ten mandates from Shinui, which would fall from the third largest party to Israel's seventh with only five mandates, down from its current 15.