Former Tel Aviv Deputy Mayor Joins Benny Gantz's Hosen L'Yisrael

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Asaf Zamir speaking to reporters in Tel Aviv.
Asaf Zamir speaking to reporters in Tel Aviv, October 2018.Credit: Moti Milrod

Former Tel Aviv deputy mayor Asaf Zamir will be a Knesset candidate for Hosen L'Yisrael, the party founded by ex-army chief Benny Gantz ahead of the April 9 general election. Zamir is expected to receive a slot just below the top 10 on the party's electoral slate. 

Zamir, who is 38, has been a member of Tel Aviv city council for the past decade. He was deputy mayor to Mayor Ron Huldai until municipal elections in October, in which he ran unsuccessfully for mayor against Huldai. During the campaign, Zamir and Huldai become totally estranged and associates of the mayor said he had been personally hurt by Zamir.

Last week Gantz presented seven candidates for his party's Knesset election slate, including television journalist Miki Haimovich; Yoaz Hendel, a former spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; and Zvi Hauser, a former cabinet secretary to Netanyahu.

In other election news, Habayit Hayehudi announced on Wednesday that Yifat Erlich, a journalist with daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, is running third on the party's slate in the April 9 general election.

Erlich, 41, moved from the West Bank outpost of Amona to the settlement of Ofra when the former was evacuated in 2017 after a court ruled that it had been built on privately owned Palestinian land. 

Yedioth Aharonoth journalist Yifat Erlich.

She is the author of two books, including one about Dafna Meir, an Orthodox feminist resident of the settlement of Otniel who was killed by a terrorist at the entrance to her house in 2016.

A statement issued by the party said Erlich represents "a young and varied "religious and traditional" Zionist public and will provide a significant boost to the party. It noted that the members of the party's publiccouncil are calling for a woman to be retained in one of the top four slots on the electoral slate even if it ultimately mergers its slate with other parties.

The right-wing Habayit Hayehudi, has been seeking to rehabilitate itself since its leader, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, left the party in December along with his colleague, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, to form a new party, Hayamin Hehadash.

Earlier this month, Rabbi Rafi Peretz, a former Israel Air Force helicopter pilot and former chief military rabbi, was appointed chairman of the party.

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