Israeli-American solar energy pioneer Yosef Abramowitz will throw his hat in the crowded ring of presidential candidates in the election that will be held in May or June, he revealed Thursday.
Abramowitz, who has met with a dozen MKs, will join a field that is set to include former Labor leaders Isaac Herzog and Amir Peretz, former Labor Party minister Simon Shetreet and former Likud MK Yehudah Glick.
He considered running for the post seven years ago, but chose not to, due to lack of support. He was urged to run by a coalition of environmental groups, led by the Strike for Climate group.
They issued a letter to Knesset members urging them to choose someone who brings with them climate leadership locally and internationally as the next president.
“While the eyes of the world are on the new climate-oriented leadership in Europe, the United States and many other countries, the time has come for Israel to choose a leader with stature and credibility to promote the issue,” the groups write the MKs. “Such an appointment will have a significant impact on public discourse, will lead to the expansion of parliamentary support for a climate law, educational activities and the promotion of policies that will ensure sustainable prosperity for Israeli society and ensure Israel has a place of honor in the family of nations.”
Fifteen environmental organizations signed off on the letter, including Life and Environment, Adam Teva V’din, Green Course, Strike for Climate, Home Guardians, Zalul, EcoOcean, Heschel and others.
“Only the appointment of a president with an environmental agenda and climatic consciousness will bring added value to the presidency and be a unifying factor in Israeli society,” said Amit Bracha, CEO of Adam Teva VeDin.
Billed Captain Sunshine due to the solar fields he has built in Israel, Africa and around the world, Abramowitz has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
Abramowitz, 56, made aliya with his wife and five children from Massachusetts in 2006 and soon after co-founded Arava Power Company at Kibbutz Ketura.
His wife, Susan Silverman, is a Reform rabbi and the sister of comedian Sarah Silverman. She was on Meretz’s list for the current Knesset in an honorary slot far down the list. Abramowitz said when he considered running before that his wife would be “the best first lady” and would inspire the Jewish world.
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