Israel's Pirates Party Registers for Knesset Elections

Pirates party, which champions 'freedom to copy,'registered for official recognition.

The pirates are heading for Jerusalem: A new party called, yes, the Pirates party is threatening to seize the public agenda in the run-up to the next general elections.

The Pirates party, which among other things champions "the freedom to copy" and "the pirating sector," applied  to the Parties Registrar to get recognition as an official party on Wednesday. Heading the party is former Green Leaf party member Ohad Shem-Tov, while other members include director Dan Biron, artist and photographer Rafram Haddad, and journalist Sharon Kantor.

The aims of the party, as submitted to the Parties Registrar, range from the radical to the delirious. In addition to advancing the pirating sector, it calls for "the freedom to divide and copy," and calls for social, medical, educational and online justice.

Party officials refused to be interviewed on Wednesday by any media "that aren't pirate media," and for now they are refusing to translate their platform from a gimmick to part of a serious public debate.

"For now we're not doing interviews," said Shem-Tov. Haddad would only say: "I'm signed on to the party and I'm contributing to its platform."

The formation of the party has already caused a minor storm, when it emerged that there is already a group calling itself "The Israeli Pirates Party," that's been active for several years. The veteran group has vigorously protested Shem-Tov's initiative on its Facebook page.

But members of the new party aren't concerned. "As soon as we found out about that group we invited them to join up with us," said Shem-Tov. "They refused."

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Yael Engelhart