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Herzog, Peretz in; Glick, Bar-Zohar out of race for president

CM 19/05/2021 1

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Jewish Agency chairman Isaac Herzog and Israel Prize-winning educator Miriam Peretz formally announced on Wednesday that they will run in the June 2 race for president, while former MKs Yehudah Glick (Likud) and Michael Bar-Zohar dropped out due to lack of support.Herzog is hoping to follow in the footsteps of his father, Chaim Herzog, who was Israel’s sixth president. In a statement released to the press, Herzog said his family’s history and his professional experience taught him that Israel cannot be taken for granted and pledged to help solve the internal conflicts revealed during the current military escalation.”The next president of the State of Israel will need to heal the rifts among us,” Herzog said. “He will have to connect Jews here in Zion with their brothers in the Diaspora, improve Israel’s international image, defend its good name in the family of nations and struggle against its haters.”Herzog submitted signatures from 27 MKs who support him from all 11 non-Arab factions in the Knesset. The supporters included right-wing MKs Simcha Rothman (Religious Zionist Party), Idit Silman (Yamina) and Gadi Yevarkan (Likud).Rothman said it would strengthen the presidency if the winner of the race had the support of MKs from across the political spectrum. “I don’t agree with him on everything but he will be statesmanlike, I respect him, and I don’t think he will embarrass me or the country,” Rothman said.Herzog served in the Knesset from 2003 to 2018 and as minister of Diaspora Affairs, Tourism, Welfare and Construction.

Peretz said she had thought about running for months but the current escalation is what persuaded her to run. She said she has devoted her life to uniting Israelis and she hoped to continue to do so as president. Two of her sons submitted the signatures of the ten MKs required to run. All were from right-wing parties except Yael Ron Ben-Moshe (Blue and White). Likud MK Shlomo Karhi said Peretz was inspiring and that he “hoped more MKs realize what a jewel she is.”Glick wrote that he wanted to bring new energy to the presidency but did not succeed. “There is a director to the big screenplay, and He directs us the best way,” he wrote. Bar Zohar, who had been meeting with MKs about running for the past two months, announced on Wednesday that he would not run. He endorsed Herzog, spoke to him and wished him well. Former Labor Party minister Shimon Shetreet and solar energy pioneer Yosef Abramowitz are still trying to draft enough support to run by the midnight deadline. “We are so still in it,” Abramowitz said. “It is very exciting. I am leaving the Knesset now to scoop up signatures. I hope it will be enough.”
Source: Jerusalem Post

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