Yesha Council lawyer to replace Shtern

The late Yuri Shtern will be replaced in the Knesset by the next name on the Israel Beiteinu list, David Rotem, an attorney from Efrat who works for the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria. Rotem, 55, has five children, wears a kippa and is active in bringing national religious people to Israel Beiteinu. He was born with polio and walks with a cane. Rotem said he would not enter the Knesset until after the seven-day mourning period for Shtern ends next week. "I am not interviewing yet, because I am still in pain over Yuri," Rotem said. "I am not looking at the Knesset. I am digesting the situation and helping the Shtern family." Rotem led the legal battle of the Gush Katif residents against the disengagement plan and he has since tried to help them receive the benefits due them from the government. Council spokeswoman Emily Amrusi called Rotem an idealist who has played a significant role in the settlement effort. "Dudu (David) is not a man who can be quiet about what he believes in," Amrusi said. "He is a good speaker and a fighter, and the people of Israel will hear from him. Israel is important to him and we are proud of him, even though we are sorry about the horrible circumstances and the loss of our friend Yuri."