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.