Noam Shalit Announces He Will Run for Israel's Labor Party List

Father of abducted ex-IDF soldier Gilad Shalit tells party chairperson Shelly Yachimovich he wants to run for the party list; Shalit has been a party member since 1996.

Noam Shalit, father of the ex-Israel Defense Forces soldier who spent five years in Hamas captivity in Gaza, announced on Monday that he intends to run for a place on the Israel Labor Party list for the next Knesset.

Noam Shalit, who has been a member of the Israel Labor Party since 1996, informed Israel Labor Party chairperson, Shelly Yachimovich, of the decision on Monday.

Noam Shalit
Hagai Frid

“Following years of a public struggle, during which I got to know Israeli society thoroughly - both its beautiful and ethical sides - I have decided to join public life,” he told reporters.

“This is out of a desire to serve the public, and to be in a place from which it is possible to influence the character of Israeli society. The Israel Labor Party is a social-democratic party that is pro-peace, and so it is my natural home. I believe that, under Shelly Yachimovich’s leadership, the Israel Labor Party will be able to do important things for Israeli society,” he said.

Yachimovich congratulated Shalit, saying, “The battle of Noam Shalit and his family to free GIlad started as a private battle, but turned into a battle that contains within it all the base values of Israeli society: Solidarity, Mutual support and Zionism."

"Noam’s battle is an example of a worthy public struggle, that is necessary and effective at the same time,” Yachimovich said.

“This battle united the whole of Israeli society around shared values. Noam has been a man of the Israel Labor Party for many years, and I am convinced his contribution as a member of Knesset will be a great one.”

This was the second political suprise in Israel this week, with veteran Channel 2 anchor Yair Lapid announcing on Sunday that he was leaving his media career to run in Israel's next elections.