Top Labor Party activists will convene in Tel Aviv on Thursday night for what is
expected to be a turbulent political convention.
The convention will be
the first major event in the party since Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich led it
to a disappointing 15 seats in the January 22 election and then refused
overtures from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to join his
Former ministers and MKs are expected to fiercely criticize
Yacimovich at the event.
Labor MK Eitan Cabel, who intends to run against
Yacimovich for the Labor leadership, sent her a sharply worded letter Wednesday
afternoon in which he accused her of trying to make undemocratic changes to the
party constitution that would give her unprecedented power.
constitution you are trying to pass would cast a shadow over Labor and make it
into the Shelly Yacimovich Party,” Cabel wrote.
“Instead of holding a
necessary debate on the party’s failure in the election, you are trying to
change the party’s bylaws to give yourself more power. This is nothing less than
a dictatorial take-over using democratic means.”
Cabel, a former Labor
secretary-general, said he had never seen such an attempt to trample democratic
values in the party. He compared Yacimovich’s tactics to those of former Labor
leader Ehud Barak, who is despised in the party, and noted Yacimovich’s outcry
when Barak tried to give himself additional powers.
In the letter, which
he sent to all 15 Labor MKs, he called for postponing the changes Yacimovich
wants to make in the party constitution regarding how party institutions
Yacimovich’s associates responded by noting that the Israel
Democracy Institute had praised Labor for being Israel’s most active and
democratic party. Sources close to Yacimovich said the party was never more
undemocratic and inactive than the years Cabel ran it as
Labor MK Erel Margalit, who ran against Yacimovich,
called for the convention to deal with the results of the general election and
not procedural matters. He vowed to draft the necessary number of Labor central
committee members’ signatures to force a debate on the election.
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