Labor candidates spar over who should stay in race

Fellow protest leader Leef refuses to endorse either one

July 1, 2019 18:39
1 minute read.
Itzik Shmuli (L) and Stav Shaffir (R)

Itzik Shmuli (L) and Stav Shaffir (R). (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/COURTESY)

Labor leadership candidate Stav Shaffir formally rejected an offer from fellow contender Itzik Shmuli on Monday to take a comprehensive poll of Labor members and decide which of the two of them will remain in Tuesday's Labor primary contest and which would quit and back the other.

Shaffir, Shmuli and MK Amir Peretz will vie for the support of 65,337 party members in the primary. Peretz has been leading in internal polls, followed by Shmuli and Shaffir in Shmuli's polls and by Shaffir and Shmuli in Shaffir's.
"The thouands of people who joined Labor to support me are not interested in political deals but in new hope for the party," Shaffir wrote on Twitter. "If they go out and vote, I will become the new head of the party."

Shaffir accused Shmuli of making the offer, because he was scared of losing to her. She said her offer of a full partnership under her was still on the table.

But Shmuli said his offer to Shaffir was genuine. He said splitting the voters who want to change Labor's direction would harm him and Shaffir. 

"If the change camp will unite, we will win, and if we split, we will lose to Amir," Shmuli wrote on Facebook. "The time has come to put an end to rumors and political spin and stop the ego games."

Shaffir and Shmuli organized the socioeconomic protests in the summer of 2011 on Tel Aviv's Rothschild Boulevard, along with activist Daphni Leef. But since then the three have fought intensely.

Asked by The Jerusalem Post who she would prefer as Labor leader, Leef responded by asking if the questioner was crazy.

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