(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin’s son, businessman Yuval Rabin, endorsed Zionist Union MK Erel Margalit Wednesday in the July 4 Labor Party leadership race.
Yuval became the second member of the Rabin family to endorse Margalit, following his aunt and the former prime minister’s sister, Rachel Rabin Yaakov. Rabin’s sister, former deputy defense minister Dalia Rabin, and her daughter, Noa Ben-Artzi Rothman, both politely declined to reveal whom they will vote for in the race.
“The time has come for change in the State of Israel,” Yuval Rabin said. “Erel has the necessary experience and achievements in his political work, philanthropy, and of course in business. That is what is needed in a leader: getting things done and a clear, determined message.”
Last summer, Margalit and Yuval Rabin published a regional peace plan together. They have met with political and business leaders from Arab countries to advance the plan.
Margalit has also been endorsed by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev president Rivka Carmi and retired IDF Brig.- Gen. Giora Inbar. But none of his colleagues in the Knesset back him.
MK Amir Peretz has been endorsed by MKs Itzik Shmuly, Hilik Bar, Revital Swid, and last week by MK Eitan Broshi, who represents the kibbutz sector in Labor. MK Miki Rosenthal endorsed the candidacy of MK Omer Bar Lev.
Incumbent Labor leader Isaac Herzog received his first lawmaker’s endorsement last week from MK Ayelet Nahmias- Verbin.
MKs Shelly Yacimovich and Eitan Cabel intend to wait until after the May 23 Histadrut labor federation leadership race and then endorse a candidate together. Several other lawmakers remain on the fence, including Zionist Union faction head Merav Michaeli, Nachman Shai, Yossi Yonah, Manuel Trajtenberg, Eyal Ben-Reuven, Zoheir Bahalul and Stav Shaffir.
Trajtenberg reportedly tried to persuade current candidates to quit the race in favor of former prime minister and Labor leader Ehud Barak.
Former environmental protection minister Avi Gabbay, former OC Northern Command Amiram Levin, historian Avner Ben-Zaken, Ra’anana Labor member Hod Karubi and socioeconomic activist Dina Dayan are also seeking the post.