Shelly Yacimovich 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Avishay Braverman became the first lawmaker to endorse Shelly Yacimovich in the
Labor leadership race Sunday after four of the faction’s eight legislators
backed her rival, MK Amir Peretz, while MK Isaac Herzog declared
Peretz persuaded Braverman to enter politics in 2005, but he
disappointed him by not declaring him a minister and the former friendship
between the two of them was never repaired. Braverman, who had considered
running himself, did not endorse any candidate in the first round of
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“He’s not taking revenge,” a source close to Braverman said.
“Avishay sincerely believes that Shelly is the best candidate for the
One endorsement that Yacimovich did not advertise was from former
minister Salah Tarif, who was convicted of bribery and breach of trust in
2002. Yacimovich spent Saturday with him in the Druse villages where he
is a known vote contractor.
MKs Eitan Cabel, Daniel Ben-Simon and Ghaleb
Majadle backed Peretz from the start of the race. MK Binyamin Ben-Eliezer
officially declared neutrality in the first round but nearly all the activists
loyal to him worked on Peretz’s behalf and he is now more openly supportive of
the former Labor chairman.
Peretz received endorsements Sunday from
former minister Moshe Shahal, former deputy defense minister Dalia Rabin, former
MKs Nisim Zvili, Edna Solidar and Nadia Hilu, and retired brigadier-general
“Labor needs a leader who represents the party’s traditional
stance on diplomatic issues along with an emphasis on socioeconomic equality,”
Shahal said. “Electing Amir will give us an experienced candidate and enable the
party to stay united.”
The most symbolic endorsement for Peretz was that
of Rabin, the daughter of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and president of
the Rabin Center.
“The public is hungry for an ideological party that
will return the legacy of Yitzhak Rabin,” she said.
“We need diplomatic
progress and socioeconomic change, funding for poor neighborhoods and not for
settlements. Amir has been a loyal member of the Rabin camp for years. He
represents the legacy of my father, who reared him and trusted him and I believe
in his ability to lead the party.”
Yacimovich received endorsements on
Sunday from a long list of mayors and from activists who were loyal to Herzog
in the first round, including Mitzna loyalist Israel Savyon, who
heads Labor’s Haifa branch, and former MK Gideon Ben-Israel, who heads Labor’s
pensioners sector and supported Herzog.
Ofer Cornfeld, Yacimovich’s
campaign manager, accused Kadima MK Dalia Itzik on Sunday of interfering in the
Labor race. He said dozens of activists who supported Itzik when she was in
Labor had received messages from her asking them to oppose Yacimovich in
Wednesday’s run-off race.
“Itzik’s interference in the Labor race is
understandable, because if Shelly heads Labor, it will be the secondlargest
party after Likud and Kadima will be weakened,” Cornfeld said. “But the
chairwoman of the Kadima faction should not be allowed to get away with becoming
an activist in another party.”