Gabbay and Peretz.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Labor leader Amir Peretz asked former party chairman Avi Gabbay and his number two Tal Rousso to quit the Knesset, Labor sources said late Tuesday, confirming a Channel 13 report.
Both Gabbay and Rousso have announced that they are not running for the next Knesset after Gabbay led Labor to a nadir of only six seats in the April election, shortly after giving Rousso a reserved slot at No. 2 on the list.
But both continue to receive salaries and benefits from the Knesset, which is on recess for the election. Gabbay, who is a millionaire, told The Jerusalem Post two weeks ago that he would not quit and that he is donating his salary to charity.
Rousso said he does not comment on private conversations.
If both Gabbay and Rousso quit, they would be replaced by the next candidates on the Labor list, former MKs Merav Michaeli and Omer Bar Lev.
Peretz convened 1,000 Labor activists at Beit Berl College in Kfar Saba Tuesday night at what was billed as a “unity rally” after a divisive primary. Losing candidates Stav Shaffir and Itzik Shmuli came to the event.
At the event, Peretz called on Likud supporters in the periphery to leave for Labor, because “the Likud forgot you.”
Peretz will hold a fateful meeting on Wednesday with Israel Democratic Party leader Ehud Barak and discuss the possibility of joining forces for the September 17 election.
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