Labor Party 521 (do not publish again).
(photo credit: Flash 90)
There were few surprises Sunday evening at the Labor Party’s convention, where
the party sought to overcome the damages of the split from Defense Minister Ehud
Barak while setting the groundwork for the hot contest for party chairman to be
held in September.
During the evening event in Herzliya, would-be party
leaders combined calls for unity with attacks against rivals, as the remnants of
the fractured party approved Micha Harish as acting chairman and revoked
amendments to the party’s constitution.
Labor regroups for first convention since split
Harish’s selection was set two
months ago, after Barak announced his surprise split from the party that he led
twice since he entered politics over a decade ago. Harish is considered a
consensus figure, a place-holder to keep the party intact until elections are
held for a new party chair on September 7.
In its efforts to recover from
Barak – and his departure – the party also voted to restore the old party
constitution in place of a newer one that Barak had pushed through in order to
shore up support within the party.
MK Amir Peretz, a likely contender to
replace Barak as party chairman, attacked the defense minister during the
convention, telling the absent Barak that his “plot to take apart the Labor
Party like a cheap watch did not succeed.” Peretz also called for unity among
remaining party members, telling them to put “disagreements
Although Peretz has yet to officially declare his intentions to
run for the party’s leadership, his calls for unity fell on deaf ears for those
For the second time in as many days, MK Isaac Herzog slammed MK
Shelly Yacimovich for advocating a onesided platform that focuses on social
issues and ignores diplomatic topics. At the same time, Herzog also called upon
a long list of well-known former Labor MKs to rejoin the post- Barak party ranks
in a show of unity.
Yacimovich, not willing to leave Herzog’s attacks
unanswered, took the podium following the former welfare and social services
minister, attacking him for agreeing to remain a minister in Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu’s coalition.