Arcadi Gaydamak is a very special figure in Israel, one whom I promise you will be the subject of one of my posts in the upcoming Israeli billionaire series.
In the meantime, you should know that Gaydamak’s Social Justice Party has just been added to the ballot. Israeli voters will be able to cast in his favor in the next elections, which are scheduled for November 2008.
Bucking Israeli tradition, Gaydamak’s party candidate list will not be voted on by party members, but in typical Gaydamak style will be chosen by the man himself.
Gaydamak is most well known by the Israeli public for his magnanimous gestures of philanthropy. During the 2006 Lebanon War, he created and fully funded a tent city for Northern refugees. He did the same for 3,000 residents of Sderot needing a break from the constant barrage of bombings and has hosted holidays for Israeli children from conflict zones.
As a coalition builder– something rare in any society, but especially unusual in Israel where political, ethnic, and religious groups struggle over defining Israeli values and priorities– Gaydamak champions peace with Palestine, and greater rights for Orthodox Jews and Israeli Arabs, an unlikely combination.
You can expect to see a full spectrum of Israeli society represented among the Social Justice Party’s roster. The chances are strong that the Social Justice Party will be the hot new item of the 2008 elections, just as Kadima was seen as a change agent in 2006.
Recommended Reading: Oracle CEO Larry Ellison donates $500,000 to Sderot.
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