Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai.
(photo credit: FACEBOOK)
Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai announced Monday that he would run for a fifth term as mayor, rather than join the crowded field in the race for chairman of the Labor Party.
Huldai had been under pressure to enter national politics and sources close to him said he had seriously considered it. Incumbent Labor chairman Isaac Herzog spoke to him over the weekend and reportedly discussed politics.
“He is a terrific person and mayor; Tel Aviv residents are lucky to have him,” said Zionist Union MK Omer Bar Lev, who is running for Labor leader. “I am sure he will help me when I head the party.”
Bar Lev poked fun at the long list of candidates for Labor leader, saying that “most members of the party are still not running.”
Besides Herzog and Bar Lev, the post is being sought by MKs Erel Margalit and Amir Peretz, former environmental protection minister Avi Gabay, former OC Southern Command Yomtov Samiah, attorney Eldad Yaniv, and historian Avner Ben-Zaken.
Zionist Union MK Eitan Cabel told The Jerusalem Post on Monday that he had decided not to run. Cabel was caught on tape making a deal with fellow Zionist Union MK Shelly Yacimovich that he would run for Labor leader while she would seek the chairmanship of the Histadrut Labor Federation.
Sources close to Zionist Union MK Stav Shaffir said she had not yet decided whether to run in the July 4 primary. The deadline to join the race is Thursday. If she joins, she would be the only female candidate, and at 31, she would be the youngest.
Former IDF OC Northern Command and deputy Mossad head Amiram Levin is set to join the race Tuesday afternoon in a speech he will deliver on his Facebook page.
Levin, 70, was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s commander in the IDF. He was the keynote speaker at a January 2016 Meretz convention but joined Labor in January 2017.
Bar Lev, a former commander of the IDF’s elite Sayeret Matkal unit, said it was a positive development that new people with security backgrounds were joining the party, but he questioned why they were shooting for the top spot on the list rather than work their way up as he has done.
“That people join the party and then decide after a matter of months to run for leader is not acceptable to me,” Bar Lev said, referring to Levin, Samiah, and Gabay. “However, they are all good people. I see them not as competition but as partners for me in the