Natan Sharansky, the famed refusenik and current chairman of The Jewish Agency for Israel, is a possible candidate to run for Israeli president in June 2014, Israel Hayom reported.
Habayit Hayehudi party Chairman Naftali Bennett has reportedly thrown his support behind Sharansky’s candidacy. Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman have not ruled out the possibility of supporting Sharansky, but have yet to consider the matter closely.
Sharansky has overseen the Jewish Agency’s strategic shift in attention from aliyah to building global Jewish identity.
“Many Jews in the world are spending time in ‘repairing the world activities,’ or tikkun olam activities. But unfortunately, for many of them, that is a way for them to abandon their Jewishness, to abandon their identity. We believe that it has to be absolutely the opposite. It is very important that they understand that the source of the energy, the motivation to make the world better, all comes from your connection to your identity and to your family,” Sharansky told JNS.org in a 2012 interview.