Labor leader hopefuls gang up on Yacimovich

Isaac Herzog unleashes fierce attack in interview, warns that Yacimovich will cause Labor to self-destruct.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
August 16, 2011 01:16
2 minute read.
Amir Peretz greets supporters

Amir Peretz greets supporters311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post))

Labor legislators and leadership candidates Amir Peretz and Isaac Herzog, who until just a few weeks ago were attacking each other, have found themselves joining together recently in attacking their fellow candidate, Shelly Yacimovich.

Herzog unleashed a fierce attack on Yacimovich in an interview with Ma’ariv on Monday, warning that if she won the September 12 primary, Labor would self-destruct.

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He said Yacimovich did not know how to work as part of a team and that due to her bitter dispute with Peretz, he and his loyalists in the faction would leave.

Quoting her own statements about voting in the past for the non-Zionist Hadash party, Herzog said Yacimovich had not been asked tough questions about her qualifications for leading Labor. He also complained about her efforts to expel people who joined Labor from other parties, which have led to thousands of appeals in the courts that have threatened to delay the race.

“This situation is unacceptable,” Herzog said, adding a quote from Isaiah about self-destruction.

At a parlor meeting in Jerusalem’s Gilo neighborhood, Peretz complained that he brought people from all over the country back to Labor, and instead of embracing them, Yacimovich did everything but open investigative agencies against them.

Peretz noted that Kadima and Likud have appealed to the people who left their parties for Labor and personally asked them to stay, while Labor was making them feel unwelcome.

“[Yacimovich] used psychological warfare against them,” Peretz complained. “Someone decided to make it a saga.

[Yacimovich] said they joined a day before or after. But I intend to fight for each and every one, not because I need the votes, but because they trusted me that I would bring them a new political home.”

Peretz attacked what he said has been reported as “conventional wisdom,” that if there is a second round in the Labor race between him and Yacimovich that four candidates would unite against him.

“How many people can be promised to be a candidate’s number two in return for an endorsement in a second round?” he asked.

But Peretz expressed optimism that he would obtain the 40 percent of the vote to win the race in the first round.

Labor’s election committee decided Monday that despite the thousands of appeals on the party’s membership list, the list will be finalized August 30 and the race will be held on time on September 12 with a potential second round on September 21.


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