Former soccer star Eli Ohana to join Jewish Home
Elections 2015

Former soccer star Eli Ohana to join Jewish Home

Yesh Atid presents list; new poll shows Zionist Camp slightly ahead of Likud, Netanyahu 9% clear of Herzog as preferred PM

File photo: Eli Ohana (Lior Mizrahi/Flash90)
File photo: Eli Ohana (Lior Mizrahi/Flash90)

A Channel 2 poll Monday night showed the Zionist Camp three points clear of Likud, 50 days ahead of the March 17 elections, as Yesh Atid presented its list of candidates and the Jewish Home was said to recruit former soccer star Eli Ohana to its ranks.

The Channel 2 poll gave the Zionist Camp (the merged Labor-Hatnua list) 26 seats, Likud 23, Jewish Home 15, the new united Arab list 12, Yesh Atid 9, Kulanu 8, Yisrael Beytenu 7, Shas 7, United Torah Judaism 7 and Meretz 6. No other parties crossed the newly raised 3.25 percent electoral threshold.

The poll also found that 44.4% percent of voters believe Benjamin Netanyahu is the most capable candidate to lead the State of Israel, while Zionist Camp leader Isaac Herzog wins the trust of 35.4%.

Jewish Home will be boosting its ranks with the acquisition of ex-Beitar Jerusalem soccer star Eli Ohana, a former Likud supporter with no political experience, who is to be given a slot in the party’s top 10, Channel 2 reported.

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, second from left in front row, with the rest of the Yesh Atid Knesset candidates, January 26, 2015. (Photo credit: Ben Kelmer/Flash90)
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, second from left in front row, with the rest of the Yesh Atid Knesset candidates, January 26, 2015. (Photo credit: Ben Kelmer/Flash90)

Also Monday night, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid presented a largely familiar list for the elections, bolstered by Haim Jelin, head of the Eshkol Regional Council, in 7th place, former IDF manpower chief and ex-Hatnua MK Elazar Stern in 12th place, and Orthodox LGBT activist Zehorit Sorek in 19th place. Yesh Atid holds 19 seats in the outgoing Knesset, but it is currently polling at about half that number.

Formally launching the party’s campaign, Lapid vowed “to fight for our country.”

“We came to the Knesset and the government to cooperate, to work with others, to connect between people to get things done, not to get involved in fights. Except that everything we did, every change, every correction, we had to fight against corruption that is difficult to imagine, against all those who don’t care about the country but only about their interests,” said Lapid, the former finance minister.

“Today there is a 300% increase in young ultra-Orthodox people looking for work and a 40% increase in enlistment into the IDF, and we ensured that core curriculum subjects are taught in schools,” Lapid went on. “We learned that if we really want to change something then there is no alternative but to put the knife between our teeth and fight for it. So that’s what we did. That’s what we’re doing. It’s a fight for our country.”

Earlier Monday, the Likud determined that Tzipi Hotovely had narrowly outscored Avi Dichter in the battle for the party’s 20th slot, consigning Dichter to the unrealistic 26th slot. Dichter intends to appeal the much-contested result.

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