El voto de los líderes judíos mundiales tuvo lugar hace poco tiempo en el plenario de apertura de las reuniones de la Junta en junio en Jerusalem. Herzog, en su emocionante discurso de aceptación afirmó: «Un judío es un judío, sin importar su denominación o el tipo de kipá que elija usar o no usar sobre la cabeza».
Al elegir a Herzog, la Junta aceptó la recomendación del Comité de Nominación de Liderazgo, compuesto por los líderes de las organizaciones constitutivas de la Agencia Judía: las Federaciones Judías de América del Norte, Keren Hayesod y la Organización Sionista Mundial.
El presidente electo Herzog fue felicitado por el presidente saliente del Ejecutivo Natan Sharansky y por el presidente de la Junta de Gobernadores Michael Siegal. Sharansky concluirá su mandato durante las reuniones de la Junta de esta semana.
El presidente electo, Herzog, dejará la Knesset en las próximas semanas y entrará en funciones el 1 de agosto.
Siegal expresó públicamente: «Me gustaría agradecer a Natan por sus nueve años de liderazgo, dirección y esperanza, estoy seguro de que Isaac Herzog dirigirá la Agencia Judía de la misma manera honorable y compasiva».
Por su parte, Sharansky añadió: «Somos la única organización cuyo liderazgo incluye representantes de la coalición y la oposición, de los judíos ortodoxos, conservadores y reformistas, además de las comunidades judías de todo el mundo. Somos la voz independiente del pueblo judío y nuestro socio principal es el gobierno de Israel. Es esencial que preservemos nuestra independencia y nuestra asociación, le deseo éxito en ese esfuerzo».
El flamante presidente electo, Herzog, destacó en un emocionante discurso de aceptación:
«Un judío es un judío, sin importar su denominación o el tipo de kipá que elija usar o no usar sobre la cabeza. Prometo trabajar arduamente para promover la unidad judía y asociarme con el primer ministro y el gobierno para lograr este objetivo».
Por último, el presidente de Israel, Reuven Rivlin expresó sus felicitaciones a “Buji” Herzog tras ser electo por la Agencia Judía y lo describió como «miembro de la Knéset, ministro y líder de la oposición, que estuvo en el corazón de la democracia israelí durante gran parte de su vida, sirviendo al pueblo israelí siguiendo los pasos de su padre y su abuelo”.
Se graduó en Derecho en la Escuela Universitaria de Londres y posteriormente trabajó de abogado en el Lincoln’s Inn. Se unió al ejército británico durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial, infiltrado principalmente en Alemania. Para el final de la guerra, se había convertido ya en jefe de la inteligencia en el norte de Alemania para los británicos, y participado en la liberación de varios campos de concentración.
Inmediatamente después de la guerra, volvió a Palestina para participar en la creación del estado judío. Después del plan de la ONU para la partición de Palestina de 1947 luchó en la Guerra árabe-israelí de 1948, sirviendo como oficial en las batallas de Latrún.
En 1975, fue embajador de Israel en la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU).
En 1983 fue elegido sexto Presidente de Israel por la Knéset, venciendo al candidato conservador Menajem Elon. Sirvió en el cargo por dos veces consecutivas (el máximo permitido bajo las leyes de Israel de aquel entonces), retirándose de la vida política en 1993.
Sepultura de Herzog en el Monte Herzl.
Herzog también fue autor de varios libros sobre los acontecimientos históricos en los que participó:
War of Atonement: The Inside Story of the Yom Kippur War (1975) (hay traducción en español: La guerra del Yom Kippur, RBA, 2007)
Who Stands Accused? : Israel Answers Its Critics (1978)
The Arab-Israeli Wars: War and Peace in the Middle East (1982)
Heroes of Israel: Profiles of Jewish Courage (1989).
Battles of the Bible (1978), co-autor con el historiador militar Mordejai Guijón.
Living History: A Memoir (1996).
Herzog era cuñado de Abba Eban; las esposas de ambos hombres eran hermanas.
Herzog falleció el 17 de abril de 1997, y descansa en el cementerio Monte Herzl, Jerusalén.
Tuvo tres hijos, uno de los cuales, Isaac Herzog, es miembro del Knéset desde 2006.
Hace 40 años, en 1975 (10 de noviembre, 1975), la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas aprobada la Resolución 3379 que comparaba al movimiento de liberación nacional judío, el SIONISMO, como Racismo. Aunque la Resolución 3379 fue derogada en 1991 cumplió el objetivo de sus promotores de proscribir internacionalmente a Israel. Hoy, muchos pretenden simular su antisemitismo denominándose «Antisionistas». Cuando un sólo pueblo sobre la faz de la tierra no puede expresar su nacionalismo (el judío) y cuando se odia a casi todo un pueblo que se declara sionista uno es lo que es… Jaim Herzog, entonces embajador israelí ante las Naciones Unidas, condenó enérgicamente la Resolución 3379 de la Asamblea General con un discurso que es… lastimosamente actual.
The Israeli parliament, or Knesset, is about to become the “greenest” parliament in the world thanks to the recent installation of a vast solar farm on the roof of the Knesset building in Jerusalem.
The recently unveiled 4,650-square-meter solar field consists of 1,406 photovoltaic panels, which will provide 450 kilowatts of energy. Along with additional energy-saving initiatives that were launched in 2014, the project is expected to reduce the Knesset’s energy consumption by a third by the end of 2015.
The new solar farm – which will absorb an abundance of sunlight thanks to Israel’s warm climate – is expected to generate most of the building’s electricity, including power for heating and air conditioning. “We are very proud to turn the Knesset into the greenest parliament in the world,” Knesset Director-General Ronen Plot said in a statement. The Knesset’s newest solar panel installation will make the German Bundestag the second-greenest parliament in the world.
The solar panel installation is part of a larger project called “Green Knesset”. The goal of this multi-year project is to convert the Knesset into a legislative branch that is guided in its conduct by the concept of sustainability. It consists of 13 initiatives focusing on saving water and energy. The Knesset will invest $1.75 million in these initiatives, and the average return from saving energy and water is estimated at $500,000 a year within five years.
From their eco-friendly, sustainable house of representatives, the newly elected members of the Israeli parliament can now set an example for the rest of the country. The Green Knesset project includes the digitization of documents, switching to LED lamps, using fewer power-guzzling appliances, and more. “It is a true revolution,” Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said in a statement.
The Knesset joins a host of other organizations that are in part or wholly self-sufficient in terms of energy, such as Walmart and Ikea. These corporations not only enjoy the economic benefits of going “green,” but they also improve their public image. Says Edelstein: “This saving of energy has far-reaching environmental implications, not only in the direct economic sense, but also in the sense that it will dramatically reduce the harm caused to the environment.”
Ex Ministro de Seguridad, Costa Rica; ex presidente del Consejo de Seguridad de la ONU
Cuando el viejo y genial Churchill le advirtió al mundo, en una universidad americana, a principios de los años cincuenta del siglo XX, que una “cortina de hierro” dividía a Europa y establecía una frontera entre la vida en libertad y la vida bajo el totalitarismo soviético, no imaginaba que su advertencia sería cierta por cuarenta años, hasta que a fines de los años ochenta del siglo XX, el comunismo hizo crisis y los países de Europa del Este se liberaron de la Unión Soviética. La URSS tampoco sobrevivió y una nueva Rusia emergió en el panorama mundial.
Con ello cambió radicalmente la geopolítica mundial. En pocos años, pasamos de un mundo bipolar con dos potencias casi absolutas, los Estados Unidos y la URSS, a un mundo multipolar con varios centros de poder mundial y en donde las grandes decisiones geopolíticas se toman, no solamente en Washington y en Moscú, sino que se adoptan con la participación de la Unión Europea liderada por Alemana y en Beijing, capital de la República Popular China, además de en los Estados Unidos y Rusia.Esa fue la realidad política mundial, al más alto nivel, que desafió Benjamín Netanyahu, hace pocas horas, al comparecer ante una sesión conjunta del Senado y el Congreso de los Estados Unidos, no solo para defender la existencia del Estado de Israel, que es la única democracia en el Cercano Oriente, sino para advertir sobre el peligro a nivel mundial que significaría que Irán pudiera desarrollar, a corto plazo, la bomba atómica y transformarse en una potencia nuclear. El Primer Ministro de Israel sentenció que el tratado o acuerdo que negocian con Irán los Estados Unidos, Europa, China y Rusia, es un “mal acuerdo” y que esa capacidad de desarrollo nuclear, por parte de los Ayatolas, quedaría como una posibilidad abierta y un peligro mundial.
El desacuerdo de Netanyahu no es solo con los Estados Unidos. Su desacuerdo es con todas las potencias que negocian con Irán dicho acuerdo, aunque el escenario de su histórico discurso fue el Capitolio, en Washington, en un abierto desafió al Presidente Barack Obama, que se negó a recibirlo en la Casa Blanca, con lo cual se desencadenó una crisis política en ese país.
Pues yo, desde la pequeña y desarmada Costa Rica, como ciudadano de este país y habitante del mundo, como una persona que ha podido ser miembro y Presidente del Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas y formarme, con ello, una opinión objetiva sobre la realidad internacional, digo que Benjamín Netanyahu tiene toda la razón en su discurso y advertencia, como Winston Churchill la tuvo en su tiempo. La verdad es que escuche el discurso en la televisión y sentí admiración por este hombre firme, valiente y audaz que, no solo defiende la existencia de su propio país, sino que le dice con integridad y verdad las cuatro verdades al mundo y a las potencias.
Si en el plano de la capacidad militar convencional, Irán es un factor de distorsión y de apoyo financiero y logístico al terrorismo internacional, qué no podría suceder si Irán y los Ayatolas, dominados por una visión fanática y sectaria de su religión, llegaran a disponer de la capacidad de producir armas atómicas. No solo el Cercano Oriente e Israel, sino que Europa misma estaría al alcance de Irán y los Ayatolas. A eso se refirió el Primer Ministro de Israel. Igual que Churchill en su tiempo. Ambos dijeron la verdad.
Solo que esta advertencia, la de Netanyahu, en el mundo en el que vivimos en el siglo XXI y por las reacciones que provocaría una locura iraní de esa magnitud, que para los Ayatolas y los extremistas musulmanes es como ganarse el cielo desde la tierra, sí que puede ser el principio del fin y yo, al otro lado del mundo, no quiero sinceramente eso para mis descendientes. He estudiado demasiado la historia y política internacional, para saber que, en algún momento, hay que saber decir NO y decirlo con toda la fuerza del espíritu. Así lo hizo el líder de Israel hace pocas horas en Washington. Declaro mi admiración por ese gesto que eleva su nivel en el liderazgo mundial.
Nota: El discurso «Cortina de Hierro» fue el 5 de Marzo de 1946 en Fulton, MO en Westminster College;
leer el discurso original (en inglés): http://www.historyplace.com/speeches/ironcurtain.htm
It is hard to get your arms around the stubborn determination of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today. For most of the nine years he has served as Israel’s leader, first from 1996 to 1999 and now since 2009, Netanyahu shied away from confrontations or buckled under pressure. He signed deals with the Palestinians he knew the Palestinians would never uphold in the hopes of winning the support of hostile US administrations and a fair shake from the pathologically hateful Israeli media.
In recent years he released terrorist murderers from prison. He abrogated Jewish property rights in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria. He agreed to support the establishment of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River. He agreed to keep giving the Palestinians of Gaza free electricity while they waged war against Israel. He did all of these things in a bid to accommodate US President Barack Obama and win over the media, while keeping the leftist parties in his coalitions happy.
For his part, for the past six years Obama has undermined Israel’s national security. He has publicly humiliated Netanyahu repeatedly.
He has delegitimized Israel’s very existence, embracing the jihadist lie that Israel’s existence is the product of post-Holocaust European guilt rather than 4,000 years of Jewish history.
He and his representatives have given a backwind to the forces that seek to wage economic warfare against Israel, repeatedly indicating that the application of economic sanctions against Israel – illegal under the World Trade Organization treaties – are a natural response to Israel’s unwillingness to bow to every Palestinian demand. The same goes for the movement to deny the legitimacy of Israel’s very existence. Senior administration officials have threatened that Israel will become illegitimate if it refuses to surrender to Palestinian demands.
Last summer, Obama openly colluded with Hamas’s terrorist war against Israel. He tried to coerce Israel into accepting ceasefire terms that would have amounted to an unconditional surrender to Hamas’s demands for open borders and the free flow of funds to the terrorist group. He enacted a partial arms embargo on Israel in the midst of war. He cut off air traffic to Ben-Gurion International Airport under specious and grossly prejudicial terms in an open act of economic warfare against Israel.
And yet, despite Obama’s scandalous treatment of Israel, Netanyahu has continued to paper over differences in public and thank Obama for the little his has done on Israel’s behalf. He always makes a point of thanking Obama for agreeing to Congress’s demand to continue funding the Iron Dome missile defense system (although Obama has sought repeatedly to slash funding for the project).
Obama’s policies that are hostile to Israel are not limited to his unconditional support for the Palestinians in their campaign against Israel. Obama shocked the entire Israeli defense community when he supported the overthrow of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, despite Mubarak’s dependability as a US ally in the war on Islamist terrorism, and as the guardian of both Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel and the safety and freedom of maritime traffic in the Suez Canal.
Obama supported Mubarak’s overthrow despite the fact that the only political force in Egypt capable of replacing him was the Muslim Brotherhood, which seeks the destruction of Israel and is the ideological home and spawning ground of jihadist terrorist groups, including al-Qaida and Hamas. Obama then supported the Muslim Brotherhood’s regime even as then-president Mohamed Morsi took concrete steps to transform Egypt into an Islamist, jihadist state and end Egypt’s peace with Israel.
Israelis were united in our opposition to Obama’s behavior. But Netanyahu said nothing publicly in criticism of Obama’s destructive, dangerous policy.
He held his tongue in the hopes of winning Obama over through quiet diplomacy.
He held his tongue, because he believed that the damage Obama was causing Israel was not irreversible in most cases. And it was better to maintain the guise of good relations, in the hopes of actually achieving them, than to expose the fractures in US-Israel ties caused by Obama’s enormous hostility toward Israel and by his strategic myopia that endangered both Israel and the US’s other regional allies.
And yet, today Netanyahu, the serial accommodator, is putting everything on the line. He will not accommodate. He will not be bullied. He will not be threatened, even as all the powers that have grown used to bringing him to his knees – the Obama administration, the American Jewish Left, the Israeli media, and the Labor party grow ever more shrill and threatening in their attacks against him.
As he has made clear in daily statements, Netanyahu is convinced that we have reached a juncture in our relations with the Obama administration where accommodation is no longer possible.
Obama’s one policy that Netanyahu has never acquiesced to either publicly or privately is his policy of accommodating Iran.
Since Obama’s earliest days in office, Netanyahu has warned openly and behind closed doors that Obama’s plan to forge a nuclear deal with Iran is dangerous. And as the years have passed, and the lengths Obama is willing to go to appease Iran’s nuclear ambitions have been left their marks on the region, Netanyahu’s warnings have grown stronger and more urgent.
Netanyahu has been clear since his first tenure in office in the 1990s, that Iran’s nuclear program – as well as its ballistic missile program – constitutes a threat to Israel’s very existence. He has never wavered from his position that Israel cannot accept an Iran armed with nuclear weapons.
Until Obama entered office, and to an ever escalating degree until his reelection in 2012, preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons has been such an obvious imperative among both Israelis and Americans that Netanyahu’s forthright rejection of any nuclear deal in which Iran would be permitted to maintain the components of its nuclear program was uncontroversial. In some Israeli circles, his trenchant opposition to Iran’s acquisition of nuclear capabilities was the object of derision, with critics insisting that he was standing strong on something uncontroversial while buckling on issues like negotiations with the Palestinians, where he should have stood strong.
But now we are seeing that far from being an opportunist, Netanyahu is a leader of historical dimensions. For the past two years, in the interest of reaching a deal, Obama has enabled Iran to take over Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen. For the first time since 1974, due to Obama’s policies, the Golan Heights is an active front in the war against Israel, with Iranian military personnel commanding Syrian and Hezbollah forces along the border.
Iran’s single-minded dedication to its goal of becoming a regional hegemon and its commitment to its ultimate goal of destroying the US is being enabled by Obama’s policies of accommodation. An Iran in possession of a nuclear arsenal is an Iran that can not only destroy Israel with just one or two warheads. It can make it impossible for Israel to respond to conventional aggression carried out by terrorist forces and others operating under an Iranian nuclear umbrella.
Whereas Israel can survive Obama on the Palestinian front by stalling, waiting him out and placating him where possible, and can even survive his support for Hamas by making common cause with the Egyptian military and the government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, the damage Obama’s intended deal with Iran will cause Israel will be irreversible. The moment that Obama grants Iran a path to a nuclear arsenal – and the terms of the agreement that Obama has offered Iran grant Iran an unimpeded path to nuclear power – a future US administration will be hard-pressed to put the genie back in the bottle.
For his efforts to prevent irreparable harm to Israel Netanyahu is being subjected to the most brutal and vicious attacks any Israeli leader has ever been subjected to by an American administration and its political allies. They are being assisted in their efforts by a shameless Israeli opposition that is willing to endanger the future of the country in order to seize political power.
Every day brings another serving of abuse. Wednesday National Security Adviser Susan Rice accused Netanyahu of destroying US relations with Israel. Secretary of State John Kerry effectively called him a serial alarmist, liar, and warmonger.
For its part, the Congressional Black Caucus reportedly intends to sabotage Netanyahu’s address before the joint houses of Congress by walking out in the middle, thus symbolically accusing of racism the leader of the Middle East’s only liberal democracy, and the leader of the most persecuted people in human history.
Radical leftist representatives who happen to be Jewish, like Jan Schakowsky of suburban Chicago and Steve Cohen of Memphis, are joining Netanyahu’s boycotters in order to give the patina of Jewish legitimacy to an administration whose central foreign policy threatens the viability of the Jewish state.
As for Netanyahu’s domestic opponents, their behavior is simply inexcusable. In Israel’s hour of peril, just weeks before Obama intends to conclude his nuclear deal with the mullahs that will endanger Israel’s existence, Labor leader Yitzhak Herzog insists that his primary duty is to defeat Netanyahu.
And as far as Iran is concerned, he acts as a free loader ad a spoiler. Either he believes that Netanyahu will succeed in his mission to derail the deal with or without his support, or he doesn’t care. But Herzog’s rejection of Netanyahu’s entreaties that he join him in Washington next week, and his persistent attacks on Netanyahu for refusing accommodate that which cannot be accommodated shows that he is both an opportunist and utterly unworthy of a leadership role in this country.
Netanyahu is not coming to Washington next Tuesday to warn Congress against Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, because he seeks a fight with Obama. Netanyahu has devoted the last six years to avoiding a fight with Obama, often at great cost to Israel’s national security and to his own political position.
Netanyahu is coming to Washington next week because Obama has left him no choice. And all decent people of good will should support him, and those who do not, and those who are silent, should be called out for their treachery and cowardice.
Stav Shaffir, la miembro de la Knesset mas joven de la historia (29 años) (partido «Avoda»).
Not yet 30, Israel’s youngest lawmaker is already a legend
Video of Stav Shaffir’s impromptu ‘Who Is a Zionist’ speech goes viral after social justice activist catapults to No. 2 spot in Labor primary.
By Judy Maltz | Feb. 2, 2015 | 4:29 PM
She had once dreamed of becoming an astronaut. Later on, it was music that beckoned. In between, she dabbled in journalism and community service.
But a career in politics was never quite on the agenda. And certainly never in her wildest dreams did Stav Shaffir of Isael’s Labor Party imagine that by this stage in her life she would have achieved something verging on political stardom.
It’s not just the big messy mane of red hair that distinguishes this high-energy lawmaker from her Knesset colleagues, who often refer to her as the gingit, Hebrew for “redhead.” At 29, Shaffir is the youngest member of the outgoing Knesset and the youngest woman ever to serve as an Israeli lawmaker. If Zionist Camp ends up forming the next government, which recent opinion polls indicate is a distinct possibility, she could very well become the youngest woman ever to sit in the Israeli cabinet.
An impassioned address Shaffir recently delivered in the Knesset is sure to go down as one of the big moments of the 2015 election campaign. Barely a handful of Knesset members were present when Shaffir took the podium, but the YouTube video of her three-minute speech — which has become popularly known as the “Who Is a Zionist” speech — became an immediate sensation on social media.
Accusing the political right of misappropriating public funds to serve its own interests, and particularly those of its settler supporters, she cried: “Don’t preach to us about Zionism, because real Zionism means dividing the budget equally among all the citizens of the country. Real Zionism is taking care of the weak. Real Zionism is solidarity, not only in battle but in everyday life.”
Shaffir’s comments were an unplanned response to statements made by the head of the religious right-wing Habayit Hayehudi party, Naftali Bennett, she told Haaretz this week. “It was completely improvised,” she said. “We had come to the Knesset to vote on raising the minimum wage, when Naftali Bennett got up and started attacking my party. It made me really angry, and I decided I had to respond.”
The fact that the video of that impromptu speech went viral, said Shaffir, proves to her that “the Israeli public yearns for politics of hope and is sick of the politics of despair.”
That was little more than a week after Shaffir proved her overwhelming popularity within the party. She placed No. 2 in the January 14 Labor primary, giving her the fourth spot on the Zionist Camp ticket, the joint slate merging Isaac Herzog’s Labor with Tzipi Livni’s Hatnuah — just one rung below Herzog, Livni and former party chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich.
It was just over two years ago that Shaffir embarked on her political career. The Labor party was anxious to bring in some young blood, and Shaffir, with her credentials as an outspoken leader of the summer 2011 social justice movement, was seen as a candidate who could attract young voters. Few expected her to serve more than an ornamental function in her first term in the Knesset, or to learn the ropes of parliamentary life as quickly as she did.
Her opponents tend to pooh-pooh Shaffir as a loud-mouthed attention seeker with a penchant for provocation, especially when television cameras are around. But that doesn’t mean it’s been all talk and no action.
Ever since being sworn in two years ago, Shaffir has focused her energies on using her seat in the powerful Knesset Finance Committee to fight for greater budget oversight. As a newcomer to the system, she says she was shocked to discover how many millions of shekels are transferred from one item to another in the secret budget deals among political parties and interest groups, of which the public has little, if any, knowledge. The main targets of her wrath have been the defense establishment and the settler movement, both key beneficiaries of this lack of transparency.
“I was absolutely horrified,” she said in a recent interview with Haaretz. “I couldn’t believe things like this happen. All these deals are being made, and nobody understands what’s going on except for the chairman of the committee and the treasury officials. Most Israelis have no idea where their money is going. They pay lots of taxes, but many of the details of the budget are concealed from them. For example, how much money goes to [the northern border town of] Kiryat Shmona compared to how much goes to [the West Bank settlement of] Hebron, or how much goes to education versus how much goes to defense.”
As a stopgap measure, Shaffir began with filibusters, driving her political opponents mad with endless questions about each budgetary transfer. Then she recruited a staff of volunteers through Facebook to begin investigating every transfer — finding out where the money came from and where it was going, and then posting the findings on her Facebook page.
“Because the treasury tends to refuse to answer a lot of these questions, we decided to look into it ourselves,” she said.
The pressure worked. The treasury eventually broke down and agreed to publish information online on budgetary transfer requests several days before the Knesset Finance Committee was asked to vote on them, rather than on the spot, as had long been the norm — giving its members time to make informed decisions.
In December 2013, Shaffir went a step further when she petitioned the Supreme Court against the treasury and the Knesset Finance Committee for authorizing hundreds of millions of shekels of changes in the budget without the approval of the full Knesset and the cabinet.
Shaffir’s daily altercations with Nissan Slomiansky, the chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee and a member of Habayit Hayehudi, have become legendary — so much so that a recent cartoon in Haaretz had her thanking Slomiansky with a bouquet of flowers after her impressive showing in the Labor primary.
Not long before new elections were called in December, the Knesset Finance Committee was about to convene for its daily session, with Shaffir already poised for action, banging away on her laptop. Within minutes, she was lashing out at Slomiansky, seated at the head of the table, for authorizing yet another handout to an organization affiliated with the settler movement. As the scene played out, the two of them wagging their fingers at one another, Shaffir continued updating her followers in real time via Twitter and Facebook.
In between, she dashed over to a rather unlikely ally on the committee: Moshe Gafni, of the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party, who has previously served as its chairman. The two exchanged a few words in low voices and planned their strategy for undermining Slomiansky.
A committee member representing the ruling Likud, who asked not to be quoted by name, had this to say about the young Labor lawmaker, as he observed the scene: “She’s doing a fabulous job, and I wish there were more like her, but I really wonder if she would behave had she been representing the coalition rather than the opposition.”
‘It all comes down to the budget’
Born in the coastal town of Netanya, Shaffir grew up in Pardesiya, a small community in the central Sharon region. Her father was an accountant, and her mother a teacher who later joined her husband in the family business. Shaffir, the oldest of three children, has an autistic sister. Before joining the army, she spent a year working with underprivileged children in Tiberias.
Her dream was to become fighter pilot in the air force. But she didn’t make it through flight school and eventually transferred to Bamahaneh, the IDF magazine, where she served as a reporter for the remainder of her service, covering Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from Gaza and the Second Lebanon War in 2006. She went on to study sociology, journalism and music.
After completing her military service, Shaffir received a scholarship to City University London, where she participated in a special program to promote dialogue among future Israeli and Palestinian leaders and earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and journalism. Upon returning to Israel, Shaffir, who plays the piano, drums, guitar, violin and oud,enrolled in the Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music. Before embarking on her political career, she worked as a reporter and editor at various Israeli publications.
Despite not having any background in economics or finance, Shaffir, who lives in Tel Aviv, made a conscious decision her first day in the Knesset to immerse herself in money matters. “In the end, it all comes down to the budget,” she said. “How the budget is allocated determines whether there is equality and social justice in this country.”
What would be her dream job in politics? “Mostly I’m interested in a position that would allow me to influence prices in the housing market,” said Shaffir. “Any job that would allow me to implement policy in that area would be great.”