Simhon not to compete in Labor election for JNF/KKL head

Agriculture minister tells Barak he would insist on becoming JNF/KKL chairman as the candidate of the combined Labor/Meretz/Reform faction.

January 3, 2011 06:11
1 minute read.
Agriculture minister Shalom Simhon

Shalom Simhon 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski/The Jerusalem Post))

Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon told Labor Party chairman Ehud Barak on Sunday that he would not run in an upcoming party election for the chairmanship of the Jewish National Fund/Keren Kayemet L’Israel.

Labor’s executive committee decided two weeks ago to hold an election after incumbent JNF/KKL chairman Effi Stenzler forced the party in court to convene the committee. Stenzler is currently the only announced Labor candidate for the post.

But Simhon has not given up on winning the plum post. He told Barak that he would insist on becoming JNF/KKL chairman as the candidate of the combined Labor/Meretz/Reform faction, which voted for him on June 16 in a race in which Stenzler did not participate.

The court issued a restraining order following that race preventing Simhon from replacing Stenzler. But Simhon expressed optimism on Sunday that that courts would ultimately side in his favor and he would still be allowed to take office.

“My election by the united faction in the World Zionist Organization is valid and legal and obligates all the parties in the faction including Labor,” Simhon said. “Holding an election in Labor for the party’s candidate and ignoring the results of the race in the united faction violates Labor’s agreement with its faction partners and the trust they put in me.”

Stenzler responded by accusing Simhon of making a mockery of the courts, the Labor Party and the executive committee members, who voted overwhelmingly to hold an election for Labor’s candidate for JNF/KKL head. No date has been set yet for the race.

“I call upon Barak to hold the election immediately, as the executive committee decided,” Stenzler said.

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