Former Labor MKs: Yacimovich challengers must unite

MKs Herzog, Cabel and Margalit deny reports they are considering taking a poll to indicate who has best chance to win.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
August 5, 2013 01:06
2 minute read.
Labor MK Daniel Ben Simon

Daniel Ben Simon 370. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 
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The three MKs considering running against incumbent Shelly Yacimovich in the November 21 Labor leadership race must join forces to have a chance to defeat her, former Labor lawmakers said on Sunday.

Yacimovich won a crucial vote at Friday’s Labor convention blocking a special membership drive from being held that could have enabled her opponents to sign up thousands of supporters who could have helped them beat her.

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But she only narrowly won the vote, indicating that she is vulnerable to a strong challenge.

MKs Isaac Herzog, Eitan Cabel and Erel Margalit have denied reports that they are considering taking a poll to indicate who has the best chance to win. But former MKs said that if all three run, it would be much harder for any of them to emerge victorious.

“I call on Herzog, Cabel and Margalit to form a united alliance in order to run against the Soviet-style organization that Shelly has set in the party,” former Labor MK Daniel Ben-Simon said. “I have followed and written about Labor for many years, but I cannot remember a chairman doing so many tricks to stay in power. Without a leader with vision, Labor will remain the third- or fourth-size party and not an alternative to the Likud.”

Ben-Simon said Herzog had the best chance to beat Yacimovich, because of his experience and his likable personality.

“He could rally the party in a time of despair,” Ben-Simon said. “All those who want Labor to have a bright future should rally around one person. That’s the way to have a revolution in November.”

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Former Labor MKs Colette Avital and Dani Coren agreed.

Avital, who now supports Meretz, said the three potential candidates against Yacimovich had to decide which had the best chance to beat her. She said she “had a hunch” Herzog does.

“There is a lot of anger in the party at the way Shelly is running it, and there is a lot of will to replace her,” Avital said. “If the challengers are divided, they split their force. To beat her, they must unite. They need to realize that it’s not a children’s game.”

Herzog said he had received many messages from Labor activists over the weekend urging him to run. He said he would make a decision next week following a speaking tour in South Africa.

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