Shechtman: Presidential Campaign 'For the Sake of the People'
Professor Daniel Shechtman, the Nobel prize winner for Chemistry who announced Friday night that he will run for the presidency in the next elections, explained to Channel 10 Sunday the reasoning behind the move.
"I do a lot for the State of Israel and its citizens in the Diaspora," he reflected. "I think that the position of President would give me far more influence than I have now."
Specifically, Shechtman said, the political position would enable him to have a hand in decision-making, where he could contribute his problem-solving abilities for the betterment of the State.
"This isn't coming from me," he explained. "People - some being friends, and some being Israeli citizens who don't know me personally - have been approaching me and urging me to run for the presidency."
"I debated the matter for a few weeks and decided to run for the position," he stated, adding that he is interested "in the position - but not the status."
Shectman also revealed that he has not signed on to a particular political party - nor has he approached current MKs to garner political support. "Why do I have to be a 'politician' to convince people?," he asked. "I actually think that people without an agenda can do very good work."
The Nobel Laureate stated that one of the first issues he would tackle, if elected, would be education. "Education's job is to make people better, and we are not doing a very good job of that," he opined.
The race for Israel’s next president is expected to heat up in the coming months, as the term of the current president, Shimon Peres, ends this summer.
A recent poll found that most Israelis favor the possibility that that the 90-year-old Peres will remain in his position for a second term. This followed reports that Peres would seek another seven-year term as President, requiring a legislative change.
Peres has rejected the reports, declaring in an interview that he will end his term as scheduled next summer.
Referring to Peres, Shechtman said, "I appreciate him very much. He has acquired a tremendous standing worldwide, and I think he's smart. But I do not have to be a copy of him or anyone else. I need to be myself.”