(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Labor leadership candidates Shelly Yacimovich and Amram Mitzna filed an appeal
to the party’s election committee on Sunday, asking to disqualify some 5,000
Likud and Kadima members who shifted to Labor in its recent registration
It is illegal to be a member of two parties. Despite the law,
4,248 members of the Likud or Kadima tried to join Labor without leaving their
old party. Rather than disqualify them, Labor sent them forms asking them which
party they preferred and assisting them in shifting to Labor.
addition, 823 Likud and Kadima members joined Labor while submitting a form
asking the Labor administration to handle the process of canceling their
membership in their former party.
Yacimovich and Mitzna wrote in their
appeal that neither of those groups of registrants were handled according to
proper procedures and that they must all be disqualified.
whitewash a violation of the law with a ceremony of kosher certification,”
Yacimovich said. “As candidates, we have an obligation to ensure the membership
drive will be legal, clean and authentic and maintain the democratic rules of
A decision is expected by Monday on the appeal, which is seen
as an attempt by Yacimovich and Mitzna to harm the perceived front-runner for
party chairman, MK Amir Peretz, who signed up by far the greatest number of new
Labor members in the drive.
Peretz asked the election committee via his
attorney, former MK Yossi Katz, to enable him to respond to the
“Mitzna and Yacimovich are trying to turn Labor into a closed
club that slams the door on new populations that are the party’s hope,” Peretz
“There must be a limit to the cynical, political considerations
that have made a shidduch [match] between two candidates who had previously been
ruthlessly attacking each other.”
At a meeting of the election committee
on Thursday, Yacimovich accused Peretz and election committee chairman Ra’anan
Cohen of “cooperating in a criminal act” by trying to enter the former Likud and
Kadima members into Labor’s membership rolls.
An angry Peretz responded
to Yacimovich that “the only criminal at this table is you,” blaming her for
leaking partial lists of Labor members to the media, which used them for reports
that made Labor and especially Peretz look bad.
Yacimovich denied that
she was behind the leaks.