Journalist Sharon Gal to run for Knesset with Yisrael Beytenu

Veteran news presenter called a ‘true patriot’ by Liberman; forgets who he voted for last time around

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

Sharon Gal. (photo credit: courtesy Radio tel Aviv)
Sharon Gal. (photo credit: courtesy Radio tel Aviv)

Journalist and TV personality Sharon Gal threw his hat into the political ring Sunday, announcing plans to run for a Knesset seat in March with the embattled Yisrael Beytenu party.

Gal, 40, hosted an economics program on Channel 10 for a decade before leaving in 2013 amid allegations of sexual impropriety and harassment, though the case was eventually dropped by police due to lack of evidence. He also spent time as a correspondent for daily newspaper Haaretz.

Gal said he was joining the right-wing party, which is currently at the center of a large graft probe by police, and said he had always been upfront about his political leanings.

“I’ve never hidden my political opinions – as a media personality I always believed that it was correct to put them right out on the table and let the viewers judge,” he said in a statement Sunday.

Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman lauded Gal’s decision to join the party in a press release, seeing it as part of a larger “wave of support” for his party.

Liberman praised Gal as “a talented man and true patriot” who will aid the party in its future “public and parliamentary” endeavors.

In an interview Monday morning on Army Radio when asked who he voted for in the last election, Gal responded tepidly: “I don’t remember. I’ve always been to the right. I think for Liberman.”

Gal is one of many ex-journalists running in this year’s elections.

Walla news editor Yinon Magal announced last week that he would join Naftali Bennett in the Jewish Home party.

Last month, veteran soccer commentator Zouheir Bahloul registered to run for a spot in the Labor party’s list.

Overall, close to 20 former journalists and media personalities will run in the March 17 election in various parties along the political spectrum.

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