Former IDF General Given 4th Spot on Livni List
Gen. (Res.) Elazar Stern, who officially joined Tzipi Livni’s party on Thursday morning, has been placed in the number 4 spot on its Knesset list.
Before joining Livni, Stern had been in talks with MK Rabbi Haim Amsalem to join his Am Shalem party.
Stern, although religious himself, has raised the ire of the religious Zionist community in the past, with his support of the Disengagement, as well as a decision he made in 2007 barring soldiers in Hesder yeshivot from serving in Golani and Paratroopers units, seen as an attempt by Stern to disband the yeshivot.
The ban was quietly lifted when Stern stepped down as Head of IDF Human Resources Directorate in 2008.
The top five names on the Livni party’s list, as submitted to the Central Elections Committee on Thursday evening, are as follows: Livni, Amram Mitzna, Amir Peretz who joined Thursday morning, Stern and Meir Sheetrit.
They are followed by David Tzur in sixth place, MK Yoel Hasson, MK Shlomo Molla, Meirav Cohen, MK Orit Zuaretz, Aharon Valency (representing the kibbutzim), MK Majali Wahabi, Prof. Alon Tal, MK Robert Tivaiev, Dr. Avner Ben-Zaken and MK Rachel Adato.
In another noteworthy move, MK Yulia Shamalov-Berkovich announced Thursday evening that she would be running for the Knesset at the head of the Calcala (Economics) party.
Shamalov-Berkovich, who served as an MK with Kadima in the last Knesset, left the party and ran for a spot on the Likud list but failed to make it in. On Wednesday she had indicated she was going to court to demand compensation for a faulty vote in the Likud primaries, that she says robbed her of a realistic spot on the party's Knesset list.
The process of submitting party lists for the next Knesset officially concluded at 10:00 p.m. Thursday evening.
34 parties filed Knesset lists with the Central Elections Committee, of which 24 are lists of new parties. In comparison, there were only ten lists in the elections for the 18th Knesset in 2009.
The Likud Beytenu submitted its list after a court rejected petitions by five candidates against the places where they were placed on the ballot.
Earlier on Thursday, Likud candidates were caught by surprise when they discovered some last minute changes to their party's list, which pushed most of Yisrael Beytenu’s members up the list at the expense of many Likud members.
An hour before the deadline to submit Knesset lists, Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s party, Atzmaut (Independence), announced it will not be running in January’s election. The party was not projected to win many seats, if at all, before Barak retired from politics, and his departure has only made things worse.
A statement from the party said that its members had "unanimously" decided not to run in the upcoming elections to the Knesset.
The party members stated that they felt it was inappropriate to spend public money on running in an election that will not achieve good results. They also said that, despite receiving offers to jointly run with different parties, they decided to unequivocally oppose what they termed “the unacceptable practice” of wheeling and dealing with party funds.