Labor renames itself after choosing socioeconomic list

They decided that the combined list would be called Hamahane Hatzioni in Hebrew. Its English name has not been decided yet.

January 14, 2015 22:06
3 minute read.
Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni, December 10, 2014

Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni, December 10, 2014. (photo credit: ALONI MOR)


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The Labor Party officially launched its effort to unseat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday when party chairman Isaac Herzog presented his list of candidates for Knesset and his No.

2, Hatnua head Tzipi Livni, addressed a Labor audience for the first time.

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They decided that the combined list would be called Hamahane Hatzioni in Hebrew. Its English name has not been decided yet.

“The picture you are seeing behind me is the next leadership of Israel,” Herzog said in a speech at Kibbutz Shefayim, north of Herzliya, with Labor’s candidates surrounding him on stage. “This is a dynamic team with more determination than Labor has had in years. It’s a team hungry for change, ready to solve the country’s problems and bring solutions that can bring hope.”

Livni was introduced to applause and then delivered a speech in which she said that her bond with Herzog had changed the atmosphere in Israel from desperation to hope.

Labor members boosted the party’s socioeconomic agenda by voting in their primary for candidates who concentrate on such issues, according to official results announced on Wednesday morning.

Former chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich won the third slot on the Labor list after Herzog and Livni. The following two slots were won by the leaders of the 2011 socioeconomic protests, Stav Shaffir and Itzik Shmuli.

The remainder of Labor’s top 10 will be MKs Omer Bar- Lev, Hilik Bar, Amir Peretz, Merav Michaeli and Eitan Cabel. The primary was a poor showing for Cabel, who was considered a favorite for the third slot and expressed disappointment after the results were announced.

Cabel said he “did not understand what happened” and that he was unaware of any political deals aimed at stopping him.

The 11th slot is reserved for a security figure whom Herzog will announce soon. Candidates for the slot included former OC Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin and Kadima leader (and former defense minister) Shaul Mofaz.

MK Erel Margalit won the 12th slot, followed by MK Miki Rosenthal.

New candidates won realistic slots, including attorney Revital Swid, Ma’aleh Gilboa Regional Council head Danny Atar, Arab broadcaster Zoher Bahalul, Kibbutz Movement head Eitan Broshi, industrialist Ayelet Nahmias- Verbin, and Prof. Yossi Yonah.

Yacimovich said she is happy that there are three women in Labor’s top five.

“Now we have a joint goal to capture the country’s leadership in March and bring about the end of Netanyahu’s tenure, which is critical for Israel’s future,” she said, expressing opposition to a unity government with Netanyahu but not ruling out a coalition with Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman.

The Likud campaign called the Labor list “extreme leftist under the leadership of Tzipi, Buji [Herzog’s nickname], Yacimovich, Shaffir and Zoher Bahalul.”

Likud spokesmen noted that, in the past, Bahalul had boasted about his Palestinian identity, praised the Mavi Marmara flotilla and blamed Israel for deaths of Arabs killed by Hezbollah.

Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett blasted the Labor list for being led by four candidates from Tel Aviv. He said former prime minister and Labor leader David Ben-Gurion, who called for populating the Negev, must be turning over in his grave.

Turnout reached 58.9 percent – higher than the 57% of the last Labor primary two years ago. Labor’s 48,904 members were eligible to vote in 400 polling stations in 76 locations around the country.

There were no reports of vote tampering or problems at polling stations.

The party hired private investigators to patrol polling stations just in case.

“We handled our primary much better than the Likud,” said Labor secretary- general Hilik Bar. “We will run the country much better, too.”

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