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February 3, 2014 10:50 pm

Nobel Laureate Dan Shechtman Kicks of Campaign for Israeli President

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Israeli Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Dan Schechtman plans to run for the ceremonial post of president in the Jewish state. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. Dan Shechtman, who won the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 2011, met with Israeli politicians Monday to garner support for his recently announced campaign for president of Israel.

Schechtman met with Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud), Yesh Atid leader and Finance Minister Yair Lapid, Education Minister Shai Piron (Yesh Atid), and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beiteinu). Combined, Lapid and Lieberman’s parties control a quarter of the Israeli Knesset. In order to run for president, Shechtman needs to win support from at least 10 MKs.

The Israeli presidency is a largely ceremonial post currently held by Shimon Peres. Shechtman announced his plan to run for president in January. If he wins, he would be the first non-politician to win the post since biophysicist Ephraim Katzir in 1973.

Although Edelstein has yet to endorse any candidate for the post, “whoever runs must be able to reach out to all Israel’s citizens, no matter what their opinions or standing,” he said, according to UPI.

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