Labor membership drive adds thousands

Dance instructor David Landesman joined the Labor race ahead of deadline.

June 26, 2019 15:32
1 minute read.
Labor party

Labor party election advertisement in Tel Aviv, April 2019. (photo credit: BEN BRESKY)


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The number of Labor Party members eligible to vote in next Tuesday’s leadership race will be 65,337, a party spokesman announced on Wednesday morning following an expedited membership drive that ended Tuesday night at midnight.

Over the past month, some 4200 people joined the party.

The deadline to join the race passed Tuesday, just after dancer and dance instructor David Landesman entered the race, joining MKs Amir Peretz, Itzik Shmuli and Stav Shaffir in the contest.

Landesman ran for Knesset with Labor in the April 9 election. He was 44th on the list, which won six seats. The candidates will hold a debate on Friday morning at Tel Aviv’s Kibbutzim Seminar.

Peretz received key endorsements on Tuesday from Histadrut Labor Federation chairman Arnon Ben-David, Kibbutz Movement representative Gavri Bar-Gil and former MK Eitan Cabel and on Wednesday from former MKs Ophir Paz-Pines and Merav Michaeli.

“If Amir does not win the race, Labor will not cross the electoral threshold,” Cabel warned on Twitter.    

Shmuli was endorsed on Wednesday by former MK Michal Biran. He presented a new Gal Hadash poll on Tuesday that found that he would lead Labor to 12 seats in the September 17 election, twice as many as were won in April by outgoing Labor chairman Avi Gabbay.

Shaffir claimed that all 4200 people who joined the party did so in order to support her and said that in the past week, more than 1400 people contributed to her campaign.  She released a new campaign video listing her accomplishments in fighting corruption in her six years in the Knesset and two years as a socioeconomic activist before that.

“My eight years fighting for you taught me you don’t win by being nice,” Shaffir wrote her supporters on Twitter.

The victor will be announced next Tuesday at 10:30pm at Tel Aviv University.

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