MK Isaac Herzog on Saturday challenged his rival in the November 21 Labor
primary race, incumbent party head Shelly Yacimovich, to a debate.
challenge Yacimovich to a debate about democracy, ideology and the party’s
path,” Herzog said at a cultural event in Ramat Gan.
The party leader’s
spokesman declined to respond to the proposal.
Herzog accused Yacimovich
of refusing to set up polling places at 80 locations in development towns,
kibbutzim, moshavim and Arab villages because she is afraid their residents will
“We are fighting for the right to vote,” he said. “I wonder,
if [Yacimovich] is so proud of being democratic, what is she afraid of?” The
challenger for party leadership said he and his staff would appeal to the
party’s Election Committee on Sunday “to fight for the right of each and every
member to vote.”
Also on Saturday, Yacimovich said she was proud there
would be a primary because it showed that Labor was a democracy and not a
dictatorship like other parties.
A cultural event in Shoham, she said her
polls showed she was 20 percentage points ahead of Herzog. She also noted that
most of the party’s MKs – nine out of 15 – were supporting her.
can’t be taken for granted in the Labor Party, which is rejecting its DNA and
picking the same leader twice in a row,” Yacimovich said.
referring to the tendency of Labor members to change the party leadership
Herzog’s campaign, however, said Yacimovich’s poll had
been conducted several months ago, and that a poll undertaken two weeks ago
showed the two tied at 35 percent, with the rest undecided.
accused Herzog and his supporters of mudslinging, which she said harmed the
party, and committed to maintaining a clean campaign.
“The public is sick
of internal fighting and realizes that our fight should not be inward but
outward,” she said.
The opposition leader also discussed the possibility
that she would join the government coalition, repeating her commitment to be a
“safety net” for peace talks. However, she clarified that she would join the
government only if Bayit Yehudi were to leave over progress in negotiations with
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