In a second such announcement in a week, Yair Lapid
officially introduced to the public two new candidates on Yesh Atid's
Knesset list on Monday – Herzliya Mayor Yael German and Dimona Mayor Meir Cohen.
The two are expected to make it to the top ten on the roster.
Lapid dismissed the possibility that the two politicians' divergent backgrounds – she hails from Meretz
while he comes from Yisrael Beiteinu
– could cause discord within the party.
"In our party, people can talk to each other," he said. "We all agree on about 80% of the issues, and the rest we can discuss.
"Yael and Meir are here because they realized that if we don't replace the current system, nothing will move forward here," he said. "They are here because they know that the system doesn't work for education, housing, healthcare and other issues that they, as successful mayors, had to deal with every day."
Lapid with German and Cohen (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
Just like former Shin Bet Chief Yaakov Peri,
who was welcomed into the party on Tuesday, the new candidates recited the party's message before the cameras.
"I saw up close, on a daily basis, the way that the authorities control the citizens' lives," German said. "Someone who follows these proceedings closely has no choice but conclude that something basic just isn't working."
She spoke of a "fundamental change" that the state must undergo in order to allow "our children to live in it, to make a living and buy a house."
"As a mayor, I found myself more than once helplessly facing bureaucracy, facing ministers who can be reached only through political liaisons," she added. "Even as a mayor I don't count, so for the public the problem is manifold."
Cohen asserted that while Israeli citizens love their country, they are widely discontent with they way it is being run.
"We are here to make the changes that we all yearn for, and to address the disgraceful fact that Israel is one of the most expensive countries in the world," he said.
Lapid is expected to continue announcing additional members of his Knesset list in the coming days. The roster includes Rabbi Shai Piron, Maj.-Gen. (Res.) Elazar Stern, retired Police Commissioner Miki Levy, former Health Ministry Director Dr. Eitan Hai-Am, journalist Ofer Shelah and attorney Karin Elharar, among others.
Hershkowitz and Orlev to share (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
Meanwhile, Brigadier-General (Res.) Uri Sagie has announced he intends to join the Labor
Party. Sagie, 69, a former director of Military Intelligence, retired from IDF in the mid '90s. He was then put in charge of the peace talks with Syria
under then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak.
Labor officials have been making efforts recently to add defense experts to the party.
Also on Monday, Minister Daniel Hershkowitz announced the withdrawal of his candidacy for the leadership of Habayit Hayehudi,
declaring his support for MK Zevulun Orlev.
The two told reporters that they will share the party's leadership duties, with Orlev as the head of the faction and Hershkowitz assuming a ministerial position without having to contend for a spot on the party's Knesset list.
The politicians denied reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
intervened in Habayit Hayehudi's affairs in order to undermine Naftali Bennet's chances of heading the party. They further called on Bennet to join them in sharing control of the party.