Zionist Union MK Isaac Herzog addresses young voters at Tel Aviv University.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Zionist Union faction will convene at the Beit Berl College in Kfar Saba Monday for a meeting that was supposed to focus on ideological issues.
But MKs said they would demand answers at the event from Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog, following reports that he intends to use a political maneuver to try to block there from being an election for a Labor leader ahead of the next general election.
The Zionist Union is a joint list of Labor and the Hatnua party of MK Tzipi Livni.
Ma’ariv Hashavua, The Jerusalem Post’s sister newspaper, reported over the weekend that Herzog intended to ask Labor’s institutions to delay the next election for the Labor chairmanship from its current timing of winter or spring 2016 to the end of 2017, which might be after the next general election.
The report by columnist Ben Caspit, said Herzog was pushing for the maneuver in order to avoid a face-off with former IDF chief Gabi Ashkenazi, Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai, former Labor leaders Shelly Yacimovich and Amir Peretz and other candidates.
While multiple MKs in Labor privately expressed outrage that Herzog was trying to avoid the election, Herzog’s ally, MK Eitan Cabel said it was a good idea because the party “needed a little quiet.” Labor has replaced its leader several times over the past 16 years, during which time an incumbent party chairman has never been reelected.
Herzog’s associates did not deny the report but said he was considering several possible options. They said he was given three months to set a date for the next Labor primary last month and he would meet that deadline.
Yediot Aharonot reported over the weekend that former prime minister and Labor leader Ehud Barak said in private conversations that he regretted endorsing Herzog in the March 17 election against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Barak’s associates would not confirm or deny the report.