Political parties said courting mother of fallen IDF soldiers
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Political parties said courting mother of fallen IDF soldiers

Israel Prize laureate Miriam Peretz, who lost two sons in combat, reportedly turns down offers from a series of figures, including the finance minister

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Israel Prize winner Miriam Peretz speaks at the Jewish federation's annual General Assembly in Tel Aviv, on October 23, 2018. (Miriam Alster/ FLASH90)
Israel Prize winner Miriam Peretz speaks at the Jewish federation's annual General Assembly in Tel Aviv, on October 23, 2018. (Miriam Alster/ FLASH90)

At least three political parties — and one senior government minister — have recently been lining up to woo a state-honored mother of two fallen IDF soldiers to join their respective movements, according to a television report on Sunday.

Miriam Peretz, a mother to two sons who died in combat 12 years apart while serving in the IDF, has been visited or contacted by, among others, the New Right, Kulanu, and the Yesh Atid parties, all of whom were hoping to add the Israel Prize winner to their slate, ahead of the upcoming elections in April, according to Hadashot TV.

The first offer came from the New Right party, led by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Education Minister Naftali Bennett.

They were soon followed by several others, some of whom visited her home in the Givat Ze’ev settlement, north of Jerusalem.

Among those who turned up at her front door were Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, who leads the center-right Kulanu party, and centrist Yesh Atid party leader, MK Yair Lapid.

Peretz, 65, made time for all those who showed an interest in her membership, and, according to the report, was given generous offers for positions within the parties.

Some of those who contacted her reportedly suggested that the Knesset could be a good stepping stone to becoming president when incumbent President Reuven Rivlin finishes his seven-year term in 2021.

Peretz told all of the politicians that she would think about it, but ultimately decided to turn down the offers.

She explained that she wants to continue her public work outside the framework of politics, where she believes she has greater influence, Hadashot reported.

General elections have been set for April 9.

Peretz, who has dedicated herself to giving educational, inspirational talks to teenagers and soldiers, received the 2018 Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement and Special Contribution to Society for her work.

In 1998, her eldest son, Uriel, was killed in Lebanon at 22. Eliraz Peretz, who served in the elite Sayeret Golani unit like his brother, was killed in 2010, near the border with Gaza.

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