Tensions between Labor chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich and rival MK Amir Peretz
rose as the former spoke out against those trying to “sabotage” Labor’s chances
in the election.
Yacimovich implied that Peretz is trying to undermine
her on Tuesday morning, saying that “the entire party disagrees with those
trying to sabotage our attempt to replace [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu’s
“Behavior that hurts the party will be met with zero
tolerance,” Yacimovich told Army Radio.
Peretz snubbed Yacimovich and
Labor on Monday night, not attending her presentation of the party’s economic
platform. Most members of the Labor list for the 19th Knesset sat on the stage
in Ashdod, behind the party leader.
On Friday, as the results of Labor’s
primary were announced, Peretz said that if Yacimovich refuses to announce
before the election that she will not join a Netanyahu-led government, he would
consider splitting Labor.
“Social justice is the most important issue,
and it’s the issue that I put on the map,” Peretz told Channel 2’s Meet the
Press Saturday night, “but we cannot concede Labor’s place at the head of the
Yacimovich refused on Tuesday to rule out joining
Netanyahu’s government after the January 22 election, but said chances she will
be part of the coalition are slim.
“We cannot reject a scenario in which
the Labor Party will be very big, and Netanyahu will become a peace-loving
social democrat,” she said. “Of course, this is an imaginary scenario, but no
party is making a sweeping, total commitment [not to join a Netanyahu-led
government] other than Meretz, and I respect them for it.”
Yacimovich appointed candidates on the Labor list to jobs on the party’s
MK Avishai Braverman, a professor of economics and former
president of Ben-Gurion University, will head Labor’s socioeconomic staff, while
former National Union of Israeli Students chairman and social protest leader
Itzik Shmuly will deal with reservists’ and students’ issues. Former Sayeret
Matkal (General Staff Reconnaissance Unit) commander Omer Bar-Lev will lead
Labor’s Election Day staff.