JNF CHAIR EFI STENZLER.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
The Labor Party’s executive committee voted on Sunday to hold long-awaited
elections for the chairmanship of the Jewish National Fund/Keren Kayemet
L’Israel, following a court ruling requiring the committee to hold a
Labor chairman Ehud Barak had tried for months to
prevent an election from being held in Labor, because he wanted to appoint his
close ally, Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon, to the job.
JNF/KKL chairman Effi Stenzler and his allies took Barak to court and
Judge Avraham Yaakov of the Petah Tikva District Court ruled in
Stenzler’s favor that the vote on whether there should be an election must take
place and that the party must pay Stenzler NIS 35,000 for his legal
Labor Party’s executive committee then voted 87 to 60 at Beit
Berl Teachers College in Kfar Saba to hold the election, which will be conducted
in the coming weeks.
Labor officials close to Simhon said he had not
decided yet whether to run in the election. They blamed his failure to prevent
the election on enemies of Simhon and Barak.
Barak’s associates tried to
distance themselves from the defeat and said that although he had wanted Simhon
to get the job, when it came to the vote he made a point of not taking
Stenzler called the vote “a victory for democracy” and said he was
committed to rehabilitating the Carmel forest as the head of JNF/KKL for years