311_ amir peretz.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski/The Jerusalem Post))
Labor Party leadership candidates slammed MK Amir Peretz (Labor) on Friday,
after Yediot Aharonot reported that Peretz fraudulently recruited party
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MK Isaac Herzog (Labor) called the report “disturbing,” and
demanded that retired judge Sarah Frisch, who is investigating the party’s
methods in recruiting members, “receive the tools to thoroughly check each
According to the Yediot
report, 527 new Labor members
were registered by Peretz aides Avi Deri and Moshe Peretz in the mostly haredi
town of Netivot, where, in the last elections, only 197 residents voted
The paper reported that 200 of the new members were registered
with identical phone numbers, and spoke to Netivot residents that were unaware
of their new membership in the Labor Party. Additionally, other new party
members told Yediot
that they did not pay to join Labor, even though it is
illegal for a party to pay new registrants’ fees.
Last week, Channel 2
reported similar discrepancies with new Arab and Druse Labor members. Frisch was
appointed to investigate the claims of misconduct.
Yacimovich said she is
concerned about the report, which “cast a shadow on the democratic process and
requires the Labor Party to thoroughly check the membership drive.
and new members that identify with the party’s values are now responsible to
participate in the primaries, so their votes will be a counterweight to this
phenomenon,” Yacimovich continued.
Mitzna called the report’s allegations
“serious and unsurprising, since I warned of this weeks ago.”
knowledge, this is just the tip of the iceberg, and a phenomenon that exists in
additional places,” Mitzna added. “The truth can’t be swept under the rug, and
we must check each and every membership form.”
He continued, “The way the
head of the party is chosen will determine whether our future will be positive
or negative. I believe in the abilities of the committee headed by Judge Frisch
to do everything possible so the choice of leader and candidate for prime
minister will be clean and without outside influences.”
“We must ensure
that the vote in September is clean,” Herzog added. “During Judge Frisch’s
planned meeting with the candidates on Monday, she must present a clear outline
of how she plans to ensure the accuracy of the membership drive.” Herzog also
warned the other candidates not to “take advantage of the situation for personal
interests, which could unnecessarily harm the party.”
The list of Labor
leadership candidates was finalized on Thursday. In addition to Peretz, Herzog,
Yacimovich and Mitzna, Jerusalem venture capitalist Erel Margalit is in the race
to run at the head of the party.