Labor race will have no debate

Candidates Amram Mitzna and Shelly Yacimovich both ruled out a formal debate, "We don’t need such circuses."

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
September 6, 2011 07:57
2 minute read.
MK SHELLY YACIMOVICH

Shelly Yacimovich. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

No American election would be complete without a debate between the candidates to help voters decide whom they prefer.

But in Israel, formal debates have become extremely rare.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


There hasn’t been a major election with a formal debate between all the candidates in a race since incumbent prime minister Shimon Peres faced off against challenger Binyamin Netanyahu in May 1996.

Next Monday’s Labor leadership race will be no exception after candidates Amram Mitzna and Shelly Yacimovich both ruled out a formal debate against the other three candidates, MKs Isaac Herzog and Amir Peretz and venture capitalist Erel Margalit.

“We don’t need such circuses,” the Mitzna campaign said. “They don’t serve anyone but the press. When the candidates attack each other before the TV cameras, it makes the party look bad and harms its image.”

A spokesman for one of the candidates said more bluntly: “If we had the American culture of politeness, maybe it would be different, but here in Israel, the media isn’t satisfied unless there’s blood.”

The Yacimovich campaign declined to give a reason for avoiding a debate but a source close to Yacimovich said she would have agreed to the debate if all four of the other candidates would have been on board.



Both channels 2 and 10 have tried unsuccessfully to organize debates.

Dana Weiss, who hosts Channel 2’s Meet The Press program Saturday nights, hasn’t given up efforts to find a format that would enable all five candidates to come together.

Even getting all five candidates to speak at the same event has been difficult over the course of the lengthy campaign. But all the contenders are set to speak at Wednesday night’s Labor convention at the party’s headquarters in Kfar Saba.

The convention will be held immediately after a court case that could result in the election getting delayed. Margalit will ask the Petah Tikva District Court on Wednesday afternoon to delay the primary for technical reasons.

Labor asked the court on Monday to reject Margalit’s case because it was too soon before the election and because he had not gone through the proper channels inside the party before turning to an external court.

“I am working to save the honor of the party, its members and voters,” Margalit said. “Labor must hold a fair and democratic election.”

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN