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Two women shape Israel's politics

Young female Knesset members Ayelet Shaked from HaBayit HaYehudi and Stav Shaffir from the Labor Party have both gained top spots on their respective slates, ready to reshape Israeli politics.
Labour party candidate Stav Shaffir poses on Rothschild Avenue in Tel Aviv, the site of a 2011 protest against high housing costs, December 5, 2012. The leaders of a grassroots social protest movement that swept Israel in 2011, one of them Shaffir, have shot to the top of a rejuvenated Labour party that polls say will at least double its power in a Jan. 22 general election that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing Likud is forecast to win. Picture taken December 5, 2012.  REUTERS/Amir Cohen (ISRAE
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Young Knesset members Ayelet Shaked from HaBayit HaYehudi and Stav Shaffir from the Zionist Camp are the quintessential symbols of the generational changes in Israeli politics, which have been undergoing deep change since the 2013 elections. The two women hail from opposite sides of the traditional political spectrum that extends from right to left: Shaked is a prominent figure in HaBayit HaYehudi (a religious party) and Shaffir, with Labor, is an icon of the rejuvenated social-democratic left. Nevertheless, the two have a lot in common when it comes to shaping the future political establishment.

In their parties’ primaries before the 2015 elections, Shaked and Shaffir had both worked their ways to the top, leaving older, more veteran political figures trailing behind. Shaked is not only the first slated woman of the HaBayit HaYehudi Knesset list and the first secular person to serve as a Knesset member of a religious party. She is also a candidate for a ministerial post in the next government if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the one to assemble it and if he adds HaBayit HaYehudi to his coalition.

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