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Every politician knows that primaries are a messy business. Not only because of the intrigues and hit lists, but also because of the tremendous amount of placards and flyers published by candidates that remain strewn around after the ballots have closed.

On Friday the recently-formed Green Movement held its primary election, electing Eran Ben-Yemini, founder of the student-based Green Course (megama yeruka) activist organization, as party chair. US-born Professor Alon Tal, who established the Israel Union for Environmental Defense (Adam, Teva v'Din) NGO, was voted second on the Knesset slate, and environmental planner Iris Hann will be third on the list.

The candidates, most of them environmental activists contending for political office for the first time, tried to find original ways to publicize their positions without wasting paper and littering. One of them, Ido Yemini, distributed tree leaves on which his name was written rather than flyers. While at Likud headquarters officials handed out hot-dogs to ingratiate themselves to members, one of the Green candidates gave out pieces of organic sugar apples.

Polls indicate that the Green Movement has a good chance of entering the Knesset in the upcoming elections. Many environmental activists who until recently never considered political careers are now hoping to bring themselves closer to centers of influence.

The Green Movement - not to be confused with the Green Party - was registered as a new party a month ago, but no fewer than 40 candidates ran in its primary.