The latest unexpected candidate for Israeli president

Yosef Abramowitz with children in Israel. Credit: Provided photo.

Solar energy entrepreneur Yosef Abramowitz has thrown his hat in the ring to replace the retiring Shimon Peres as Israel's president this summer. Abramowitz—whose unexpected candidacy follows the launching of a surprise presidential bid by Dan Shechtman, winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in chemistry—says he is a non-political, independent entrant in the race.

“President Shimon Peres has done great things,” Abramowitz said. “To continue this momentum, Israel must field a President who embodies innovation and the ‘Start-Up Nation,’ a President who will foster hope and a bright future for the younger generations who are desperately seeking social and economic stability. I would lead Government development to promote an investment-friendly climate. I would strive to improve Israel’s standing in the global arena and embrace the strengthening of pluralism among all Israelis.”

If Abramowitz wants a touch of humor in his campaign, he should probably look no further than comedian Sarah Silverman—his sister-in-law.

Who are the more traditional candidates to succeed Peres? Former Knesset speaker MK Reuven Rivlin (Likud), MK Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor), and MK Silvan Shalom (Likud). Shalom is also Israel's Minister of Energy and Water, meaning Abramowitz isn't the only energy expert in the race.

Posted on May 8, 2014 .