Stenzler outlasts Barak to keep control of JNF/KKL

Jewish National Fund chairman expected to be given post unopposed following Labor split.

January 18, 2011 04:13
1 minute read.

JNF CHAIR EFI STENZLER. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Jewish National Fund/Keren Kayemet LeYisrael chairman Effi Stenzler emerged as one of the victors of Monday’s split in Labor, when his two challengers announced that they were dropping out of the race against him.

Stenzler spent huge sums of his own money on legal challenges against former Labor chairman Ehud Barak in an effort to keep his post. Barak attempted to have Stenzler replaced, first by Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon, then by Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilna’i.

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Vilna’i was expected to face off against Stenzler in a Labor Executive committee vote later this month, while Simhon planned to continue to seek the post in the courts. Now that both challengers have left the race, Stenzler is expected to be given the post unopposed in an upcoming meeting of the Labor Executive Committee.

“Barak tried for more than a year to appoint his allies to the job, despite the rulings of the courts and Labor institutions,” Stenzler said. “The undemocratic attempts by Barak to take the KKL chairmanship from Labor have failed. The Labor Party has deep roots in Israel and the KKL, and the KKL will remain under Labor’s control as it has always been.”

The effect of the split in Labor on the KKL will also impact Kadima, which received the honorary co-chairmanship of the organization via the agreements of the World Zionist Organization. Kadima leader Tzipi Livni appointed MK Eli Aflalo to the post, but he has not been able to assume it, because Stenzler’s dispute with Simhon had not been resolved.

Aflalo will soon be able to receive the post and quit the Knesset. He will be replaced in the Knesset by the next person on the Kadima list, Doron Avital, an academic and former commander of the IDF’s General Staff Reconnaissance Unit (Sayeret Matkal).

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