New Faces of Israel's Election

Competition on Right and Center and for Orthodox Vote

Fresh Face: Ex-news anchor Yair Lapid may not become the next Israeli prime minister. But he leads a crop of fresh faces contesting this month’s general election.
getty images
Fresh Face: Ex-news anchor Yair Lapid may not become the next Israeli prime minister. But he leads a crop of fresh faces contesting this month’s general election.

By Nathan Jeffay

Published January 07, 2013, issue of January 04, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 8 of 10)

TAMAR ZANDBERG

A social protester who continued the fight long after it was out of the headlines, 36-year-old Tamar Zandberg is Meretz’s energetic new candidate.

The Tel Aviv city counselor led the local Meretz faction’s walkout from the ruling municipal coalition at the start of the summer, accusing Mayor Ron Huldai of trying to undermine the social protest movement. Huldai refused to let protestors pitch tents as they had been allowed to the previous summer. In June, when police arrested 85 people who were accused of violent protest, Zandberg said it was part of a Huldai-led move to discredit the cause.

Zandberg, a prominent activist from the first days of the social protests, is also known for taking to the streets over the Palestinian cause. She was one of the organizers of “Yes Palestine” rallies in Tel Aviv in support of the Palestinian statehood bid at the United Nations in September 2011, and again in November. The UN bids are the “most peaceful and sure way” for the Palestinians to promote their desire for statehood, she said. She added that advancing this cause was also a “sure way to guarantee the continuation of Israel as a state,” by which she meant Israel as a democratic state with a strong Jewish majority.

In local Tel Aviv politics, Zandberg has been active against what she terms religious coercion, placing the issue of buses on Sabbath on the city council’s agenda. Her advocacy moved the council to demand that Huldai’s administration allow Sabbath buses in the city. That request now lies with the government, which has yet to respond.

Her position on Sabbath buses angered Haredim, but on the issue of the military draft she agrees with many of them. Unlike most secular politicians, Zandberg favors continuing their exemption from service if they can be integrated into the workforce without drafting them. “I don’t think they’re needed to go in the army if the problem [of low participation in the workforce] is solved,” she said.

Polls suggest that Zandberg, in the sixth spot on Meretz’s list, may just miss out on a Knesset seat, but following the release in late December of its new diplomatic platform and peace plan, some analysts expect a surge in support from leftist Labor voters.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.