Popular Israeli children's entertainer Yuval Shem Tov has been given a real shot at becoming a member of the next Knesset.
Ahead of the January 22 election, the newly-formed Economy Party has placed Shem Tov in the No. 3 spot on its Knesset list. All parties must reach a threshold of three seats to even enter the Knesset, meaning that if the Economy Party makes it in at all, Shem Tov is guaranteed to become a Knesset member.
For most, that won't be a problem. But others may find it odd to have a professional clown in the Knesset (though others will argue that the taxpayers have been paying "clowns" to occupy those positions for years).
Shem Tov's day job is playing the character "Yuval Hamevulbal" (Yuval the Confused) on Israeli television. Yuval the Confused is today Israel's most popular homegrown children's television character.
Shem Tov stated that he intends to continue playing the character of Yuval the Confused even if he makes it into the Knesset.
Prior to Shem Tov joining the party, the Economy Party was viewed as only having a slim chance at winning the required three seats. Party founders Daniel and Benny Goldstein, brothers originally from Long Island, New York, hope that bringing Shem Tov on board will significantly increase their chances.
The Goldsteins insist that the Economy Party is neither right-wing nor left-wing, but rather a party that hopes to improve business and economic management in Israel to the benefit of all.
The party's focus on family values was also a major factor in finally convincing Shem Tov to bring his star power to the list.