Daphni Leef says she isn’t running for mayor of Tel Aviv
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Daphni Leef says she isn’t running for mayor of Tel Aviv

Less than a week after intimating that she’s considering her candidacy, social protest leader says she has other plans

Daphni Leef, one of the leaders of the social justice protest movement, with other demonstrators (photo credit: Roni Schutzer/Flash90)
Daphni Leef, one of the leaders of the social justice protest movement, with other demonstrators (photo credit: Roni Schutzer/Flash90)

Daphni Leef announced Sunday that she isn’t going to run for the post of Tel Aviv mayor.

Leef, the woman credited with starting the social justice movement in 2011, said without elaboration that she has other plans.

“Please share — I’m not running for mayor of Tel Aviv,” she announced on her Facebook page.

A campaign launched last week by an undisclosed group, “E is for elections – the official campaign launch for Daphni Leef for mayor of Tel Aviv-Jaffa” — which ostensibly spoke in her name, had generated a lot of buzz about her potential candidacy.

Leef intimated then that she was mulling the idea over. “I can’t lie. I’m thinking about this seriously. I still haven’t decided whether or not to run,” she wrote on her Facebook page in response to the campaign.

The Facebook campaign culminated in a large event Saturday evening at Habima Square — in the fashion of the social protests that began two summers ago, which also took place Saturday evenings at the square on the end of Rothschild Boulevard. Leef wrote on her Facebook page that she would attend the event in the hopes of meeting the campaign’s organizers.

Had Leef run for mayor of Tel Aviv, she would have been pitted against Ron Huldai, the incumbent of 15 years. Other potential candidates include left-wing MKs Dov Khenin (Hadash) and Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz).

The elections are slated for October 22.

Leef, who sparked the social justice protests in 2011 by creating a Facebook page publicizing her decision to protest the country’s high rent prices by pitching a tent on Rothschild, and calling on other Israelis to join her. With the help of activists (and today Labor MKs) Stav Shaffir and Itzik Shmuli, Leef’s campaign mushroomed into a large movement that drew tens of thousands of participants in weekly mass rallies and whose hallmark was advocating for social and welfare values.

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