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Dozens Of New Members Give Knesset Fresh New Face

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A mother of 11 and grandmother of 12, Struk also is the founder and chairwoman of Human Rights in Yesha, an organization that advocates for settlers’ rights. In that capacity, Struk has fought against alleged abuse of settlers by soldiers and policemen, and advocated for the rights of those who protested Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005.

Struk, 52, also runs the Land of Israel lobby in the Knesset that fought for settlement expansion and legalizing settlement outposts.

Struk at times was described as hurting Bennett’s campaign to present Jewish Home as an inclusive right-wing party, not a settlers’ party. But in an interview shortly before the election with Israel’s Channel 2, Bennett denied she was a liability.

Shimon Solomon (Yesh Atid)

Shimon Solomon, 44, has come a long way to the Knesset. When he was 12, Solomon set out on foot with his family from Ethiopia, traveling via Sudan to Israel.

Later, after becoming a social worker, he returned to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, from 2005 to 2007 to help others follow in his footsteps. He also works with Physicians for Human Rights as an advocate for refugees and is a former director of the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda, a center for orphans of the Rwandan genocide.

The future of refugees and migrants in Israel has been a topic of heated debate over the last year or two.

Solomon served in the Israel Defense Forces paratroopers unit and is a reserve officer. He is one of two Ethiopians on Yesh Atid’s list along with Pnina Tamnu-Shata, the first Ethiopian woman to be elected to the Knesset.

(JTA)

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