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Leaders of social protests make Labor’s Knesset slate

(JTA) — Two leaders of Israel’s social protest movement made it into the top 12 slots on the Labor Party’s list for the 19th Knesset.

Stav Shapir was voted into the ninth slot and Itzik Shmoli clinched the 12th slot in the Labor primaries on Thursday. In the summer of 2011, they led protest rallies and actions in Tel Aviv and elsewhere protesting Israel’s widening income gap.

With polls showing Labor winning approximately 20 seats in the Jan. 22 election, the two are expected to serve in the Israeli parliament.

Party chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich, a former radio interviewer who has talked tough on social inequity, retained the first slot.

Isaac Herzog, a minister in multiple governments, finished with the second slot followed by party veterans Amir Peretz, a former union leader, and Eitan Cabel, an adviser to Yitzhak Rabin. Merav Michael, a feminist Haaretz columnist, clinched No. 5.

Other top 20 candidates include Benjamin Ben Eliezer, a former defense minister; Hilik Bar, a Jerusalem politician; Omer Bar-Lev, a former commando officer; and Labor lawmaker Avishai Braverman.

Yariv Oppenheimer, who leads Peace Now, did not make the top 20.

Miri Regev of Likud said on Israel Radio that the list “showed that Labor has taken a sharp turn to the left.”

Yachimovich told Army Radio that she had full confidence in the list, which she called a “dream team.”

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