Friday, January 13, 2012

Shalit welcome to run

Shalit welcome to run

Op-ed: Just like any other citizen, Noam Shalit has full right to run for Israel’s parliament

Anyone who is not tainted by corruption, who does not boast a history of wrongdoing and who is not a habitual criminal can join the political race and run for the Knesset.

This is one of democracy’s cornerstones: The right to elect and be elected is open to everyone, and it is not conditioned upon the motives that push the candidates to the front of the stage. This is true for Noam Shalit, and of course for Karnit Goldwasser.

However, the above statement says nothing about the abilities of these two figures, their suitability for the post, or even their electoral appeal. Shalit and Goldwasser have not produced a cure for cancer, have not resolved the mystery behind the world’s creation, and did not use their political stature thus far in order to establish, lead or manage projects in favor of Israel’s poor and unprivileged.

Goldwasser attempted to join the media world, Shalit apparently returned to the pursuits he undertook before his son’s abduction, and now they are again making headlines: Goldwasser by apparently joining Yair Lapid’s party and Shalit as a future contender in the Labor Party primaries.

That’s how system works

They have the full right to do so, just like the voters have the right to decide on their own criteria before placing their ballots in the box. Indeed, the voters will decide whether the familiar face from television, or the impression created by the struggle to return their loved ones home are enough to vote for Shalit and Goldwasser.

As Shalit already officially declared his intention to run, we shall say again that he has the full right to do so. What will determine whether he wins a Knesset seat is his conduct in the public sphere in the coming months, the positions he’ll present, and the answers he’ll provide to questions that come up. There is no other way and no path that can circumvent the need to become closely familiar with the candidates.

The current Israeli Knesset, for better and for worse, is full of people who two years ago we knew very little about; these are people who were granted the opportunity to gain experience at the expense of Israel’s citizens because of our political model. Indeed, each and every citizen will eventually be able to reward these Knesset members, or send them packing – because that’s how it works.

Ariela Ringel-Hoffman
Published: 01.12.12, 00:16 / Israel Opinion

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