Russian Oligarch Leonid Nevzlin’s Call for a New Israeli Liberal Alliance. Nevzlin possesses a 20% ownership interest in Haaretz and is related by marriage to Likud MK Yuli Edelstein.
On the eve of Rosh Hashanah, Russian-born oligarch Leonid Nevzlin, a prominent figure in Israeli media and politics, used Twitter to underscore the importance of creating a fresh liberal alliance dedicated to upholding the principles of Israeli democracy.
Russian-born oligarch Leonid Nevzlin Background
Leonid Nevzlin accumulated his wealth in the Russian oil and gas sector, where he served as an executive at the Yukos Petroleum Company. His decision to relinquish his Russian citizenship in response to the Ukraine conflict solidified his status as a persistent critic of Vladimir Putin. His opposition to the Putin administration dates back to the early 2000s when the Russian government initiated criminal investigations into members of his company.
Media Ventures in Israel
Upon arriving in Israel in 2003, Nevzlin made a significant mark in the Israeli media industry. In 2011, he acquired a 20% stake in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, and in 2014, he introduced “The Liberal” magazine.
Family and Political Connections
Nevzlin’s involvement in Israeli politics goes beyond media investments; his son-in-law is Yuli Edelstein, a member of the Likud party and former Health Minister during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Edelstein and Irina Nevzlin, who chairs the board of directors of The Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot, got married in 2016.
Possible Message Recipient:
The question arises as to whether Nevzlin’s communication was intended for Yuli Edelstein. Edelstein is seen as a potential dissenter within the Likud party concerning judicial reform, and analysts anticipate his leading role in any internal opposition to this reform due to his history as a political prisoner and refusnik in the Soviet Union.
The Ambiguity of the Message
Nevzlin’s statement, “When I look at the current situation, there’s a glimmer of hope that gives me encouragement—it’s the resurgence of the liberal camp,” alludes to the intended recipient of the message. However, it also raises the question of whether Nevzlin’s post was conveying a signal from Edelstein or to Edelstein.
A Coherent Set of Concerns
Regardless of its intended direction, Nevzlin’s message undeniably presents a clear set of objections that align with the concerns of anti-judicial reform groups. Moreover, it extends an invitation to those who have not yet aligned with the movement, encouraging them to get involved.