Peretz succeeds in keeping Shmuli in Labor

Shmuli slams Shaffir, rejects Blue and White.

July 29, 2019 00:05
1 minute read.
Peretz succeeds in keeping Shmuli in Labor

ITZIK SHMULI: I believe I can take a party in a storm to safe waters. (photo credit: REUVEN KAPUCHINSKI)

Labor received a boost on Sunday when MK Itzik Shmuli announced that he would remain in the party, after he received offers to defect from the Democratic Union and from Blue and White.

Shmuli met Labor leader Amir Peretz on Sunday, then spoke with him at a news conference at the party’s Tel Aviv headquarters in which they embraced each other and Gesher leader Orly Levy-Abecassis, who is running with Labor.
“Labor is my home, and even when there are disagreements and arguments, I am obligated to the party and will not leave it at a tough moment,” Shmuli said.

Shmuli has been calling on Peretz for the past two weeks to have Labor merge with Meretz and former prime minister Ehud Barak, but Peretz has rejected his overtures.

“The party chairman was chosen democratically and he thinks differently, and it is his responsibility to decide our direction,” said Shmuli.

MK Stav Shaffir, who left Labor to form the Democratic Union on Thursday, pushed Shmuli to follow suit in an Army Radio interview on Sunday morning. In the interview, she made reference to her fight with Shmuli when they ran against each other in the July 2 Labor leadership race.

“Even though I was hurt by his behavior and lies, we are not playing those games now,” she said. “I call on Shmuli and all of Labor to join.”

Shmuli responded on Twitter that it was Shaffir who spread lies about him during the campaign. He included a link to a headline of her saying “Shmuli will sell out the party to receive the fourth slot on another list,” and pointed out that the opposite ended up happening.

“During the entire campaign, you spread a libel and lies that my support for Labor to run with other parties was intended to get me a seat in the Knesset and not a wider goal,” he wrote. “Well, who abandoned the party during its toughest moment for a comfortable job opportunity? The point was to merge as a party, and not make a personal exit.”

Shmuli concluded the tweet: “Keep your calls to yourself. Goodbye and good riddance.”

The Meretz council approved the agreement that formed the Dmocratic Union on Sunday night. Author David Grossman endorsed the new party at the event.

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