After a week of battles over who would be Labor’s candidate to chair the Jewish
National Fund/Keren Kayemet Le’Israel, attention shifted on Tuesday to the
question of who would be the organization’s honorary cochairman.
allocations at the World Zionist Congress, currently taking place in Jerusalem,
the JNF/KKL chairmanship was given to Labor and the honorary co-chairmanship to
Kadima. The latter party head, Tzipi Livni, is waiting to see what Labor decides
before selecting her candidate, but she reportedly told a party activist who
wanted the position that she was interested in giving it to an MK who was a
Kadima MK Eli Aflalo, a former immigrant absorption
minister and World Kadima chairman, reportedly made it known that he
the Knesset if offered the post. Aflalo has long been one of Livni’s
critics in the party, but they recently reconciled.
If Aflalo left the
Knesset, he would be replaced by the next name on the list:
journalist Nino Abesadze, who made aliya in 1996 after marrying Israel’s
ambassador to Georgia.
Abesadze, 45, described herself in a 1993
interview with Haaretz as “as leftist as you can be,” and she spoke at
month’s Peace Now rally in Jerusalem.
But the former journalist at the
Vesti and Novosty newspapers denied on Tuesday that she had far-Left
comparing her stances to that of Livni.
Other names that have been raised
in Kadima include MKs Shai Hermesh and Ze’ev Boim, and activists Ofer
Nehemia Reibi and Nehemia Ganot. Hermesh said Tuesday that he would only
the Knesset to be agriculture minister.
But Livni’s associates declined
“Tzipi said the decision will be hers, and she will make it
based on whether Labor elects [Agriculture Minister] Shalom Simhon or
JNF/KKL chairman Effi] Stenzler,” a Livni associate said. “After they
will decide on our candidate. Speculation about one name or another at
stage is not correct.”