Avi Gabbay delivers his victory speech after winning the Labor Party primaries.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Newly elected Labor chairman Avi Gabbay told reporters at his Tel Aviv office Tuesday that his successful campaign would now shift gears for what he called "war" against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party.
Gabbay said at the start of a meeting of his campaign team that Labor must act as if elections have already been set, even though a date had not yet been decided.
"The campaign to replace Netanyahu begins today," Gabbay said. "Elections have been called as far as we are concerned. We don't know when yet. But we know we will win the 30 seats we need to defeat Netanyahu."
Gabbay said his defeat of six other Labor leadership candidates, which culminated in Monday's runoff race, created "electricity," which Labor would use to move forward for continued success. He said the phone switchboard and website for joining Labor had crashed since his victory. He vowed to double Labor's membership from 52,000 to more than 100,000 by the next general election.
"I tell the public, if you believe me, join Labor," he said.
Earlier Tuesday, Gabbay took questions from reporters outside his Tel Aviv home. He said he had received messages congratulating him from all sectors of the population.