Thursday, January 22, 2009

Meet the candidates

Yaakov “Ketzaleh” Katz is a pioneer, war hero and builder of Israel. During the Yom Kippur War, while serving in the elite Shaked commando unit, Ketzaleh lost his left leg after taking a direct hit from an Egyptian RPG. As a founder and leader of Gush Emunim, he was the driving force behind the building of many Jewish communities throughout Judea, Samaria, the Gaza region and greater Jerusalem, serving as a senior advisor to then Housing & Construction Minister Ariel Sharon. Ketzaleh has also played a crucial role in affording the national camp a voice in the Israeli media by founding Arutz 7 and continuously working to keep it independent. As a frequent guest to Diaspora communities, Ketzaleh serves as a representative of the Jewish state and works to strengthen the bond between Jews in Israel and abroad.

Uri Ariel has waged the struggle for Greater Israel for several decades, both as a leader of the YESHA council and as Secretary General for the building division of Batei Amana. A member of Knesset since 2001, Ariel has worked tirelessly within the political system for Jewish rights to the Land of Israel, freedom for Jonathan Pollard and relief for Jews expelled from the Gaza region and northern Samaria.

Professor Arieh Eldad has served as the Chief Medical Officer of the IDF (with the rank of Brigadier General) and Director of the Plastic Surgery and Burns Department at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem. Since entering the Knesset in 2003, he has not only fought valiantly against attempts to shrink Israel’s borders but has also been recognized as Israel’s most tenacious opponent of government corruption, a role for which he has won acclaim and admiration from all sides of Israel’s political spectrum. E

ldad chaired the Knesset’s Ethics Committee and lobbies for public personas as role models, the struggle against corruption in the public sector and for public health. During the months leading up to the expu

lsion of Jews from the Gaza region and northern Samaria, he was the only member of Knesset to call upon the public to engage in acts of civil disobedience.

Dr. Michael Ben-Ari is a highly respected

scholar of classical Jewish history. Having spent several years working in the fields of education and academic research, Ben-Ari has established a number of educational institutions and is a freque

nt lecturer at Bar-Ilan University on subjects of archaeology and Land of Israel studies.

Uri Bank is a veteran activist who has been involved in parliamentary issues for several years, working extensively on legislation, serving as director of the Ichud Leumi-Yisrael Beiteinu Knesset faction and as a senior advisor to Tourism Minister Benny Elon. Bank immigrated to Israel from the United States at the age of twelve and decided in stay on at

seventeen after his family returned to the United States. He served in the IDF and continues to serve as a volunteer tank commander in miluim, including a current stint during Operation Cast Lead (despite his age and candidacy for Knesset exempting him from reserve duty). Bank has fought for immigrant rights and tax exemptions through legislation within the political system. On the diplomatic front, Bank is one of the prime movers behind the Israeli Initiative – the only comprehensive peace plan brought forth as an alternative to the failed Oslo Accords paradigm.

Alon Davidi is a Sderot resident and city councilman who has been a leading activist in educating the Israeli public to the current plight of Israel’s south. He dedicates most of his time to his beleaguered city, teaching in the Sderot Hesder Yeshiva and organizing community events. Davidi is also a founder and leader of the committee for Sderot security.

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