Launching its campaign under the slogan “fighting for the country,” Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid presented a list of Knesset candidates Monday night that looks very much like its outgoing Knesset faction.
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There are only two newcomers: Eshkol Regional Council Chairman Haim Yellin in the No. 7 slot, and MK Elazar Stern, formerly of Hatnuah, at No. 12. Former Education Minister Shay Piron is No. 2, after Lapid, followed by former Health Minister Yael German, former Social Affairs Minister Meir Cohen, former Science and Technology Minister Jacob Perry and MK Ofer Shelah. Yellin is followed by MKs Karin Elharrar, Yoel Razbozov, Aliza Lavie and Mickey Levy.
American immigrant MK Dov Lipman retains his No. 17 slot. Three of the party’s current MKs, Adi Kol, Rena Frankel, and Shimon Solomon, chose not to run.
There are only three women in the top 10 slots, compared to four last time. Polls give the party nine to 12 seats in the next Knesset, after it had 19 seats in the outgoing one.
“We are presenting a slate that doesn’t represent vote contractors and forgeries ... but principles and values,” Lapid said. “These are people infused with faith, who have left comfortable lives. They haven’t come to make money, they are sacrificing their homes and families day after day for the country. They are truly people of the center. Men and women, religious and secular, periphery and center. Not the anarchistic left or the delusional right. The center.”
Lapid’s speech sounded very much like the talking points he was distributing during campaign gatherings he had been holding in recent weeks, and focused primarily on the accomplishments of his party in the outgoing government.
“When we got the equality of the burden [the bill to draft Haredim] passed, everyone was against it, from the right and the left. Likud representatives ran out on the votes, the prime minister tried to scuttle the process from the beginning. When we voted on the law, Bougie [Isaac] Herzog and members of the Labor Party sat outside the plenum and sucked up to the Haredim. Convicted criminal [Shas leader] Aryeh Deri embraced Bougie and told him that he’s his prime minister and [United Torah Judaism MK Yaakov] Litzman and [MK Moshe] Gafni thanked the Labor Party for helping young Haredim to not be drafted and not go out to work. We were alone, but we fought and we won. The law passed.”