Hillary Clinton is the odds-on favorite as Democratic presidential candidate for the 2016 elections, and if the Republicans continue to prefer arguing rather than uniting, she will succeed.
In Israel, none other than Adina Bar Shalom, the Haredi left-wing daughter of the late Torah sage Rabbi Ovadia Yosef is contemplating running for the post that will be vacant with the end of the term of President Shimon Peres this year. The Knesset elects the president.
Bar Shalom, 69, said last month that she has not talked with anyone about the possibility of running, but she told the Forward this week she might take the plunge. She said she is now talking about the prospect with several key people and supporters who believe she can be a “bridge between religion and the state.”
One of the reasons for her hesitation on declaring herself as a candidate is that she wants to know who else will be running. Another woman, former Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner whose decisions were left-leaning, said Thursday she intends to run for president.
So far, veteran Knesset Members Reuven Rivlin of the Likud and Binyamin “Fuad” Ben-Eliezer of Labor have announced their candidacies, as has outsider Dan Shectman, who like Bar Shalom has no experience in politics. The Technion University scientist is a Noble Prize winner in chemistry.
The position of presidency had been a ceremonial one until Ezer Weizmann actively pushed political policies during his term of office in the 1990s, and Peres has often acted more like Prime Minister then president.
Bar Shalom might win support from Israel’s popular media, which would promote her because of her leftist views and because she is a woman, considered to be a credential in and of itself by a pro-feminist media.
She told the Forward she firmly believes Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas is a “partner for peace” and believes his statements that “I won’t allow terrorists and terror” and “I prevent the terror.”
She founded a college for Haredi women in 2000 and which now is also open to men, who learn separately from women.