(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Labor leadership candidate Isaac Herzog is on his way to a political rally near you.
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The social welfare minister is taking full advantage of the Hanukka holiday by hosting rallies for Labor activists across the country, in an effort to get as many of them as possible to sign a petition calling for the advancement of the Labor leadership race.
Activists working on behalf of Herzog have already passed the threshold of 460 signatures of Labor central committee members needed to force a party convention within six weeks that could set a new date for the race. But he wants to sign up as many as possible among the 2,500 central committee members in a show of force.
Herzog asked Labor secretary-general Hilik Bar to mediate an agreement between current Labor chairman Ehud Barak and his challengers on an agreed date for the next race, which is currently set for October 2012.
Herzog wants it moved up to June 2011, which is four years after Barak was elected.
But if Bar fails to persuade Barak to move up the race, sources close to Herzog said he would submit the signatures and the convention could be held as early as February.
“Since he called for dialogue, neither Barak, nor anyone else have come forward,” a source close to Herzog said. “If an agreement cannot be reached with dialogue, we will have no choice but to force a convention on Barak that will move up the race.”
Herzog leads Minorities Affairs Minister Avishay Braverman and Barak among announced candidates.
MK Shelly Yacimovich is also likely to run. All the candidates would
lose to outgoing IDF chief of General Staff Lt.- Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi if
the law was changed in order to permit him to run, according to recent