Top Peretz supporter calls Labor primary results racist

Gathering of 1,000 pro-Peretz supporters not a power play, former MK Marciano says: “Yacimovich knows how much power Peretz has.”

Amir Peretz greets supporters311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post))
Amir Peretz greets supporters311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post))
A senior activist for former Labor leadership candidate MK Amir Peretz said on Saturday that Shelly Yacimovich’s win in the recent party primary was due to racism.
“The results were definitely fishy,” former Labor faction chairman Yoram Marciano told The Jerusalem Post. “I’m not embarrassed to say that they smell of terrible racism.”
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Marciano pointed out that Yacimovich won by a very large margin in the predominantly Ashkenazi kibbutzim.
“I’m not blaming Shelly,” he said.
“It could have been any candidate – Isaac Herzog, Amram Mitzna – the result would have been the same. It’s racism.”
“The kibbutz movement must examine itself, especially before the High Holy Days,” Marciano added.
The former MK also denied that an event for Peretz activists on Sunday, which is expected to be attended by more than 1,000 people, is a demonstration of Peretz’s power.
“Shelly already knows how much power Amir Peretz has in the Labor Party,” Marciano told the Post. “No one has to show it to her. Almost 50 percent of the party voted for Peretz.”
Marciano invoked the High Holy Days once again, saying that “Peretz and Yacimovich have to put their egos aside in these days of forgiveness and difficult times for the State of Israel.”
“Not everything has to be interpreted as a power play,” Marciano said. “This group has existed for a long time, and includes social activists from Eilat in the South to Rosh Pina in the North. We have Jews, Arabs and Druse who helped with the campaign, and it’s the right thing to do to show appreciation.”
The Peretz supporter explained that “not only winners have to say thank you. This is the polite, civilized thing to do, in my opinion.”