Labor Party chief Isaac Herzog at Jerusalem Post office in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
The secretariat of the Labor Party’s executive committee will hold a key meeting Thursday afternoon that could end a standoff that has stretched on for months regarding the date for the next Labor leadership race.
A three-hour meeting of the secretariat on Monday ended in a shouting match between Labor’s secretary- general Hilik Bar and the representatives of party chairman Isaac Herzog and his prospective challengers.
Bar wanted to hold a Labor convention by the end of July to set a date for the leadership race, but Herzog and MK Shelly Yacimovich wanted the convention to be postponed until at least September.
“I am sick of deciding not to decide,” Bar said. “I am trying to save Herzog from himself, and he is not letting me.”
Yacimovich and Herzog then put out press releases attacking each other, with Yacimovich saying the race should be held in December because “the status quo cannot continue,” and Herzog saying that she cannot decide for the delegates to the convention.
But Wednesday, Yokne’am Mayor Simon Alfassi mediated between all the sides and the members of the secretariat and reached an agreement to give up on the September idea and return to Bar’s original proposal to expedite the entire process.
“Most of the members of the secretariat want to take care of this as soon as possible,” Alfassi said. “I think it will end up being quick.”
If the convention does end up being held this month, its agenda will have to list at least one possible date for the election for Labor leader. The most likely scenario is that multiple dates will come to a vote at the convention, and by the end of the event a date for the race will finally be set.
The election was supposed to take place by May 2016, according to the party’s bylaws, but Herzog succeeded in getting the race postponed at the last Labor convention.
In a political maneuver, the vote was held in the first few minutes of the convention, as soon as a quorum was reached, when many opponents of the delay had not yet arrived.