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Netanyahu appoints novelist, radio personality to Likud list

CM 04/02/2021

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Novelist and right-wing radio personality Galit Distal Atbaryan will be in the 10th spot on the Likud list, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Thursday afternoon, hours before the deadline to submit party lists for the March 23 election. 
Netanyahu called Distal Atbaryan “an independent woman, a woman who doesn’t hesitate to say her opinion, a woman who comes from the people…and above all, believes in the national idea.” 
The prime minister said the new candidate will help the Likud reach its goal of establishing a right-wing government. 
Distal said that her appointment to the Likud list “gives hope to many people, because I am not like the people, I am the people…I know what it is to manage a store. 
“The fact that someone like me reached a place like this in Likud shows that [the party] is the best platform for social mobility,” she added. 
Distal Atbarian was born in Jerusalem to parents who came from Iran, and speaks Farsi. She published two novels, one of which, A Peacock in the Stairwell, was shortlisted for the Sapir Prize in 2014. 
She has written columns for various media outlets and participated in television panels and radio shows in recent years, most recently writing for Israel Hayom and hosting a daily program on Galei Israel Radio. 

Netanyahu is expected to appoint Communal Strengthening and Development Minister Orly Levy-Abecassis to the 28th spot on the Likud list. 
Levy, the daughter of former Likud minister David Levy, entered the Knesset in Israel Beytenu in 2009. She left the faction when it joined a Netanyahu-led coalition in 2016. She established her own party, Gesher, in the first of three elections in 2019-2020, but did not pass the electoral threshold, and then she ran with Labor and Labor-Gesher-Meretz. When the Labor-led bloc expressed willingness to be form a coalition with the Joint List last year, she left to join Likud, in exchange for Netanyahu appointing her as a minister.
Though weeks ago, the Likud campaign said Netanyahu was looking for an Arab candidate to appoint to the Likud list, he went with two Jewish women, instead.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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