Labor Party membership surpasses 60,000

Labor and Zionist Union leader Avi Gabbay has traveled across the country, taking advantage of the free time that has resulted from not being a Knesset member.

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February 25, 2018 21:30
1 minute read.
AVI GABBAY: Now there are almost no attacks, and there unfortunately is also no diplomatic process

AVI GABBAY: Now there are almost no attacks, and there unfortunately is also no diplomatic process. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

The Labor Party renewed its membership drive Sunday after passing the 60,000-member mark.

Parties tend to reach their peak membership after drives are conducted ahead of leadership primaries. But even with eight candidates, Labor only had 52,000 members ahead of its July 4 primary.

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Since then, Labor and Zionist Union leader Avi Gabbay has traveled across the country, taking advantage of the free time that has resulted from not being a Knesset member. Gabbay has been encouraging people to join the party in order to replace members who supported his opponents in the leadership race and then left the party.

“The many citizens joining Labor prove that after nine years of Netanyahu, they want different leadership that is honest and clean and really wants to work for the people of Israel,” Gabbay said. “They sense that elections are coming up soon because of the police recommendations to indict Netanyahu and the heavy criminal investigations against him.”

Because Gabbay’s polls still show many Israelis have not heard of him, the Labor leader released a video telling his life story, with citizens telling Gabbay’s story as if they were him.

As part of his attempt to reach out to new sectors, the video includes an Ethiopian teenager, a soldier, a rabbi, a man in a wheelchair and a shuk vendor.

Gabbay said over the weekend that Netanyahu would have to quit if he becomes a suspect in the “submarine affair,” in which Israel purchased expensive and perhaps unnecessary submarines from a company that employed David Shimron, Netanyahu’s lawyer, financial adviser and relative. Gabbay said the submarine affair was the most serious of the corruption allegations because it involves national security.

Police have stressed that the prime minister is not suspected of any connection to the affair.

“The question is not how long Netanyahu will last as prime minister, but how many years he will serve in jail,” Zionist Union MK Shelly Yacimovich said.

In a poll taken for Channel 2 by pollster Mina Tzemach, Likud was predicted to win 28 seats, Yesh Atid 24, and the Zionist Union just 15.


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