Opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich and MK Isaac Herzog, who will face off in
the November 21 Labor leadership primary, battled on Wednesday over the support
of the party’s remaining undecided Knesset members.
Herzog’s announcement on Monday
that he was entering the race, five Labor MKs
released statements that they were backing Yacimovich: Nachman Shai, Moshe
Mizrahi, Miki Rosenthal, Stav Shaffir and Michal Biran. Joining them on
Wednesday was Knesset Economics Committee chairman Avishay Braverman, the only
lawmaker who endorsed Yacimovich in the last Labor race in September
One of the MKs revealed that Yacimovich had purposely timed the
endorsements to balance out MKs Eitan Cabel and Erel Margalit announcing their
support for Herzog at his press conference. The MK said Yacimovich had pressured
her supporters to release their endorsements strategically.
has divided the Labor faction into camps.
Seven of the 15 legislators
back Yacimovich, and three support Herzog. Labor secretary- general Hilik Bar
and MK Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, who is running for president, will remain neutral
in the race.
Meanwhile, Yacimovich and Herzog have showered the remaining
three MKs – Merav Michaeli, Omer Bar- Lev, and Itzik Shmuli – with praise this
week. When Yacimovich arrived at the Knesset Wednesday, she gave Shmuli a
Both Yacimovich and Herzog attended a pre-Rosh Hashana toast that
Michaeli hosted on a Tel Aviv beach Sunday night, and Herzog seemed to make a
point of sitting next to Michaeli at a special session of the Knesset that she
organized on Wednesday.
Shmuli said he would make a decision by the end
of the week, because he believed remaining on the fence was wrong. Michaeli said
she was in no hurry to decide which candidate to support.
his supporters at a parlor meeting Tuesday night that he would back neither
“This election is unnecessary and harmful to the party,” he
said. “As a matter of principle, I will not take part in it.”
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