Labor Party 521 (do not publish again).
(photo credit: Flash 90)
Labor’s election committee cast a shadow over the party’s membership drive on
Thursday when it announced that 26,000 of its 55,000 new members may be rejected
due to problems with their credit card or bank details in paying their
The party had announced with great fanfare a month ago that its
membership had surpassed 80,000 members.
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Labor candidates slam Peretz after reports of fraud
But since then, investigations
in the media – and now by the party – have found serious problems with the
The 26,000 number does not include thousands of
membership forms that will be disqualified because registrants illegally tried
to join Labor without first rescinding their membership in Kadima, Meretz, or
Likud – and hundreds more who had their membership fee paid for by someone who
is not a close family member.
“I am proud of the steps we have taken to
ensure that our membership rolls will be accurate,” Election Committee chairman
Ra’anan Cohen said.
Cohen said that despite the many problems with the
drive, the list of new Labor members will be submitted next Friday to the five
candidates in the September 12 primary. They will be given five days to issue
appeals, and the final list of Labor members will be released July
Hours before the election committee released its findings, Labor
leadership candidate Amir Peretz blamed allegations of corruption in the drive
on “the capitalist media.”
In remarks aimed at Channel 2 and Yediot
, he said the probes that discredited new Labor members were false and
intended to harm his chances of winning the race.
newspapers like to use the word ‘research,’ I checked these investigative
reports,” Peretz said. “To me, distortion, and using only half the truth, is
worse than outright lying.”
At a Tel Aviv press conference with Union of
Local Authorities chairman Shlomo Buhbut, who endorsed Peretz after quitting the
race last week, Peretz said the Left needed to wake up.
“The peace camp
must realize that drinking espresso and analyzing the world from a Tel Aviv cafe
won’t bring change,” Peretz said. “It might be easier for the peace camp to turn
inward, but this is too fateful a time for that.”
A Shvakim Panorama poll
broadcast on Israel Radio on Thursday found that former Labor chairman Amram
Mitzna was most popular among the general public, while people who voted for
Labor in the last election preferred MKs Isaac Herzog and Shelly
Among the general public, 28 percent favored Mitzna; 19%
Herzog, 16.5% Yacimovich; 16% Herzog; and 4% venture capitalist Erel
Among Labor voters in the last election, 24.4% support Herzog;
24.1% Yacimovich; 19% Mitzna; 15.5% Peretz; and 3.2% Margalit.
associates reacted to his poor performance in the polls by noting that Labor
members would decide who their next leader will be, not the general
They added that the people who voted Labor in the last election
were voting for former Labor chairman Ehud Barak, so it was unsurprising that
Peretz does not fare well among them.