Lawmakers battle for leadership of the Left

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
April 2, 2012 01:33

In a sign that the battle for the leadership of the Left has begun, Kadima, Labor, Meretz leaders simultaneously hold political rallies.

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Labor head MK Shelly Yacimovich

Labor chairwoman MK Shelly Yacimovich 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

Three dovish parties   held political rallies a few blocks away from each other in Tel Aviv Sunday night in a sign that the battle for the leadership of the Left has begun.

Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich fired the opening shot when she told her supporters over the weekend that she would be the Center-Left bloc’s candidate for prime minister.

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She continued trumpeting her party’s potential Sunday night when she told Labor activists that their party could beat Likud.

“We are the largest party in the [Center-Left] bloc,” she said during a Labor rally at a Tel Aviv hall hosted by faction chairman Isaac Herzog.

“We are the only alternative to [Prime Minister] Binyamin Netanyahu, not because of one poll or another but because we have a true path that we will lead and stick to, and use to defeat Netanyahu.”

Yacimovich acknowledged that such a scenario currently appeared unlikely, but she said the goal could be achieved with enough hard work.

Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On mocked Yacimovich’s pretensions at a parlor meeting in a Tel Aviv pub.

“Labor and Kadima are fighting over who will be the top partner in Netanyahu’s next government,” Gal-On said.

“Anyone who wants a Center- Left government must give their vote to Meretz, which is the only party that would not join a Netanyahu-led government under any circumstance.”

At a pre-Passover toast for members of his Independence Party, Defense Minister Ehud Barak complained that while the Likud has had just four leaders, in the past decade Labor has had seven, Kadima four and Meretz three.

“I see new leaders in Meretz, Labor and Kadima,” Barak said. “It is unfortunate to see what is happening on the Left. There is no stability and no ability to focus on regaining power. There is a tendency to fight to no end.”


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