Opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich sent hundreds of Labor Party members eligible to vote in Tuesday’s race for Histadrut labor federation chairman a message on Sunday praising incumbent Ofer Eini. Yacimovich said in the message that her support for Eini is “personal and ideological,” and not just because Labor’s central committee voted to support him.

Despite the party’s decision, Labor MK Eitan Cabel decided to challenge Eini in the race with the backing of several other parties. If Cabel wins the race, he would have to leave the Knesset, and he would be replaced by the next candidate on Labor’s list, former MK Yoram Marciano.

In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, Yacimovich called a potential Cabel victory “a fantasy.” When asked why the race has not made headlines, she said it was because Eini was so dominant.

“There has been no coverage of the race because Eini is strong and there is no drama,” she said. “I support Eini because I have believed for years in the Histadrut and unionized labor, and I understand the resuscitation Eini has done to this body.”

Cabel complained that Eini refused repeated requests for a debate and did not give a single interview during the entire campaign to explain his policies.

“[Eini] has violated public norms by mishandling the Histadrut while avoiding public oversight,” Cabel said. “He has not answered any questions in part because the press unfortunately let him get away with it. This would have never happened in another country.”

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