(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.
Labor leader hopefuls gang up on Yacimovich Herzog reveals tougher side in Labor event
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.
“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
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.