(photo credit: marc israel sellem)
The Labor leadership race could soon get even more crowded if former party
chairman Amram Mitzna decides to seek the post he held from 2002 to
Three current MKs are already running: Isaac Herzog, Shelly
Yacimovich and Amir Peretz. At least two outsiders are also eying the position:
Union of Local Authorities in Israel chairman Shlomo Buhbut and businessman Erel
Mitzna said he would decide whether to run by the first week of
May, in order to make sure he would have enough time to compete in the effort to
sign up new members in Labor’s voter registration drive, which ends June
“I still have more to look into before making my decision,” Mitzna
said. “I am not leaning in one direction or another about whether to run. It
really is 50-50.”
MK Daniel Ben-Simon, who supports Peretz, said he would
welcome a decision by Mitzna to run. Mitzna called Herzog last week to express
sympathy following a derogatory headline in Haaretz
that implied that he was
anti-Sephardi. The newspaper ran another negative headline Sunday, this time
suggesting that Herzog had something against Arabs.
The latest article
quoted a cable that, according to WikiLeaks, had been sent by US diplomats to
Washington. It included an analysis that Herzog gave in the 2006 election when
Labor’s candidate for prime minister was Peretz.
According to the
article, Herzog complained about Peretz’s left-of-center positions “such as
embracing the Oslo Accords and his commitment to appoint an Arab-Israeli
The newspaper did not call Herzog for a
Herzog vigorously denied everything in the article, just like
he did last week. He told Army Radio he had no idea why the newspaper was
targeting him with two negative lead headlines in one week.
unfortunate that Haaretz
did not make headlines of all I did to fight poverty
when I was social welfare minister,” Herzog lamented.
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