Day 8 – The Elders of Eitan

The 99 Day Blog – Day 8
The Elders of Eitan

  • More green politicians are trying to squeeze into the already packed Labor list. New recruits include Eitan Schwartz, who won the first season of Israeli political reality show “The Ambassador” and has since become Tel Aviv municipality spokesperson, and Peace Now director Yariv Oppenheimer.
  • Here’s an excellent blog post about the fluidity of the Israeli political system and how hard it is to follow without prior knowledge – http://blogs.jpost.com/content/pre-election-politicking-raw-and-fluid. In the post, the blogger mentions tiny, gimmicky parties such as the pensioners, pot smokers and taxi drivers-

Such a narrow focus is not unusual in Israeli politics. Previous elections have seen the rise and decline of a Taxi-drivers’ party, a Pensioners’ party, several parties favoring the legalization of marijuana and other goodies, and parties seeking better deals or more prominence for one or another of the middle-sized Jewish ethnic communities.”

  • Things change quickly in Israel. Since this blog was posted (today), Rafi Eitan announced the launch of a new party, Dor (Hebrew for “Generation”). This is not the first foray into politics for the 85-year-old (!) Eitan, a former Mosad agent whose claim to fame is the kidnapping of Adolf Eichmann. Eitan headed the Gil party (Hebrew for “age”) which was seen as a non-player for years but shocked analysts by winning no less than 7 seats in the 2006 elections, forcing the prime minister to create a portfolio for Eitan (he became Minister of Pensioner Affairs). Eitan has already commissioned a poll that projects 3-4 seats for his new party. Nothing yet in English on this. So…will Eitan do it again? What do you think?
  • Makor Rishon, in an article about the Facebook presence of the various candidates, posted this image-

(Left to right: Shely Yachimovitch, Danny Ayalon, Yair Lapid, Avigdor Lieberman, Benjamin Netanyahu, Ahmed Tibbi, Ehud Barak, Naftali Bennet, Nitzan Horowitz, Tsippy Livni)

About the Author
Ari Applbaum is Director of Israel Operations for The David Project, a non-profit that positively shapes campus opinion on Israel, and has been with the organization since 2007. Ari manages all aspects of the organization’s work in Israel such as overseeing operations and budget, a staff of three, strategic partnerships with other organizations and all educational programming. He also lectures to thousands of Americans visiting the Jewish state each year. From 2008 to 2010, Ari served as a Middle East Analyst for The David Project. Based out of Boston, MA, Ari travelled extensively throughout the U.S. and Canada to educate and inspire effective supporters of Israel. He spoke to thousands of adults and students and lectured at hundreds of venus, including Ivy League universities such as Harvard and prestigious conferences such as AIPAC’s Saban Leadership conference. While in Boston, Ari also served as marketing and communications manager for the organization. In this role, Ari was responsible for the organization’s overall media, public relations and marketing activities. Prior to The David Project, Ari served as Senior Account Executive at the Israel branch of Ruder Finn, one of the world’s largest marketing and communications consultancies. There he specialized in strategic planning, media and analyst relations, marketing material development, market research, and branding. Ari provided these services to non-profit organizations, global telecommunications and technology companies (including several Fortune 100 companies), Israeli start-ups and financial institutions. As a student activist, Ari was sent numerous times by the MFA, The Jewish Agency for Israel, and other organizations to represent Israel in the U.S., Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, and The Netherlands. Ari holds a Master of the Arts degree in Security and Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and a Bachelor of the Arts degree in Communication & Journalism and Islam & Middle-East Studies from Hebrew University. Ari is currently working on his first book, a compilation of inspirational Zionist quotes. He is married to Na'ama; Their twin sons Yuval and Roni were born in Boston but are eighth-generation Jerusalemites.
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