Herzog calls on Mitzna to quit Labor race

Herzog says Mitzna should join forces with him to ensure that neither Yacimovich nor Peretz gets elected and the party can remain united.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
August 25, 2011 04:10
2 minute read.
ISAAC HERZOG: There is just so much to get done and it keeps on coming.

Herzog 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Labor leadership candidate MK Isaac Herzog called upon his fellow candidate Amram Mitzna to drop out of the September 12 primary, telling The Jerusalem Post in an interview that he wanted Mitzna as his No. 2 man.

Mitzna has been heavily critical of candidates MKs Shelly Yacimovich and Amir Peretz and has been quoted as saying that he would have a hard time serving under them. Herzog said Mitzna should join forces with him to ensure that neither Yacimovich nor Peretz gets elected and the party can remain united.

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“If either [Peretz or Yacimovich] is elected, the other will secede and seriously harm Labor at a time when there is hope for the next election,” Herzog said. “Mitzna has weakened substantially since entering the race. I call upon him to join me and be my partner.

Both of us are viewed as responsible candidates who can work together and unify the party. It’s the moment of truth for Mitzna to unify the party and win.”

Herzog said that in party events where both he and Mitzna speak, they have been asked why they don’t join forces. Labor activist and Ramat Gan Deputy Mayor Rami Padlon said in a statement that Mitzna should quit the race and back Herzog.

Mitzna’s campaign responded that he was determined to remain in the race until the end and to win. He called upon other candidates to drop out and support him instead.

“It is clear to everyone that only Mitzna can unite all the other candidates behind him,” his spokesman said. “Only someone with a proven track record on security and socioeconomic issues can lead Labor, and he is the only candidate who has that.”

Mitzna”s spokesman said his campaign had been boosted by the disqualifications of thousands of potential Labor members for technical reasons, most of whom were believed to be supporters of Peretz.

Labor published a list on Tuesday of some 61,000 members eligible to vote in the primary, following appeals on around 14,500 membership forms. The fate of 14,315 forms is still undecided, pending questions about whether their payment requests will be honored by the banks.

While Yacimovich expressed satisfaction with the disqualifications, Peretz expressed confidence that the party's NIS 50 membership fee would not cause banks to prevent the 14,315 potential Labor members from joining.


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