Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich expressed satisfaction with the list Labor
members elected Thursday, telling party activists at Beit Berl Teachers College
after the list was announced Friday that she could not have dreamed of a better
slate of candidates.
MK Isaac Herzog, whom Yacimovich supported, won the
second slot on the list for the third time in a row. He will be Labor’s top
voice on diplomatic issues, which are not Yacimovich’s strong
Herzog bested by a margin of 3,000 votes Yacimovich’s nemesis, MK
Amir Peretz, who received the third slot. Peretz’s close ally, MK Eitan Cabel,
surprisingly won the fourth slot on the list, which includes several Peretz
The fifth slot on the list went to journalist Merav Michaeli,
whom Yacimovich considered a liability because of her leftist views. Peace Now
secretarygeneral Yariv Oppenheimer, whom she also saw as too leftwing, won the
unrealistic 27th slot.
“We have an incredible list,” Yacimovich said in a
speech to Labor supporters following the announcement of the primary results.
“This list represents all factions of Israeli society. They represent an
impressive history of leadership and achievements, together with young people
who know how to fight. They have come together to serve the
Yacimovich asked the public to remember the list the Likud
elected Monday and compare it to Labor’s candidates. She slammed Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu’s policies, making a point of mentioning his diplomatic
failures led by Thursday’s UN vote on observer status for a Palestinian
non-member state before criticizing him on socioeconomic issues and highlighting
Thursday’s poverty report.
“We will work for the next 58 days to defeat
Netanyahu and Liberman and replace them in power,” Yacimovich
Labor’s list features two leaders of the summer 2011 socioeconomic
protests, Itzik Shmuli and Stav Shaffir.
Although Shmuli got more votes
than Shaffir, she is ninth on the list and he is 12th, because she was advanced
to a higher slot reserved for a woman.
Two Kadima MKs received slots in
the party’s top 20; Nachman Shai, who will be 15th on the list, and Nino
Abesadze, who ran unopposed for the 20th slot that was reserved for an immigrant
from the former Soviet Union.
The only current Labor MK who might not be
in the next Knesset is Daniel Ben-Simon, who is 22nd on the list.
Schalit, who became a household name when his son Gilad Schalit was kidnapped,
won the unrealistic 39th slot on the list, even though he took time off from his
senior position at the Iscar company that is owned by billionaire Warren Buffett
and campaigned across the country for a year.
Reform Rabbi Gilad Kariv
won the unrealistic 28th slot. Eitan Schwartz, who made aliya from New York at
age seven and gained fame for winning the first season of reality show The
Ambassador, also failed to win a realistic slot.
The Likud called the
Labor list “extreme left-wing” and said it “reflects on party leader Yacimovich,
who once voted for Hadash.”
Former Kadima head and leader of The Tzipi
Livni Party, Tzipi Livni, congratulated Labor, but lamented the fact that “Labor
with Yacimovich at its head has abandoned the diplomatic issue and turned left
on social issues.”
Meretz also congratulated Labor, saying the party is
now tasked with “an impossible mission, to prevent their chairwoman Shelly
Yacimovich from entering a coalition with Netanyahu.”
Yesh Atid leader
Yair Lapid said Labor’s list “is worthy of a left-wing party that combines new
faces with long-standing experienced people.”
“The political map is
becoming clear. Likud Beytenu is in the distinct Right, the Labor is in the
distinct Left and at the Center of the political map – Yesh Atid,” Lapid
Yaara Shalom and Gabriella Weiniger contributed to this report.
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