The Citizens' empowerment Center plans to hold an election debate at the Tel Aviv University on January 1, which will include the leaders of all of Israel's major political parties.
According to the center, so far Labor chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich,
Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz and
Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid have
confirmed their attendance.
Foreign Minister and Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman gave
his general consent while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's bureau has yet to reply to the invitation. Lieberman has already announced he is willing to participate in a debate but only if all major parties chairpersons will join, including Netanyahu.
The Center's invitation said: "The Israeli public is looking forward to an open debate between the party leaders. A TV debate is the best way to expose the parties' visions, increase transparency of the candidates' agenda and their accountability to the public."
The first obstacle in adopting the American debate model is the expected refusal by PM Netanyahu to take part in it. Elections
debates have not been held in Israel since 1999 as in most cases the leading candidates declined to attend them.
The Center requested Yoni Cohen-Idov, who won the world debate championship in 2010, to supervise the debate in January.
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