Erel Margalit set to enter Labor race

Jerusalem Venture Partners founder will join MKs Herzog, Yacimovich and Peretz as a candidate in September 12 primary.

Jerusalem Venture Partners founder and managing partner Erel Margalit is expected to enter the crowded field of candidates for the chairmanship of the Labor Party at an event in the capital on Wednesday.
Margalit will join Labor MKs Isaac Herzog, Shelly Yacimovich, and Amir Peretz, and Union of Local Authorities in Israel chairman Shlomo Buhbut as candidates in the September 12 primary race that will determine who will replace Ehud Barak at the helm of the troubled party that Barak split three months ago.
The venture capitalist gained fame for selling the Israeli company Chromatis to Lucent Technologies for $4.8 billion in 2000, in what was the largest takeover in Israeli history at the time. His latest venture is Labor Now, an effort to registering thousands of new Labor members.
“I am registering a lot of new members to the Labor Party and there is a lot of pressure on me to run for the chairmanship,” Margalit said in a weekend interview with Yediot Aharonot’s Sever Plocker.
“I am considering it responsibly.
It is clearly not simple with everything I am involved with at JVP and my projects in Jerusalem,” he said.
“But on the other hand, to make Labor relevant again and return the party to power, Labor needs a revolution.
None of the candidates from within the party can bring this revolution, so it must come from outside.”
Margalit supported Peretz when he was elected Labor leader in 2005, as did Yacimovich.
Herzog and Yacimovich are set to face off for the first time since a date for the race was set, at a Labor event in Hadera on Thursday.
Herzog was received warmly at Mimouna events on Monday and Tuesday despite disparaging reports in Haaretz that suggested he had made negative remarks about Peretz and other Moroccan immigrants in closed conversations five years ago.
Herzog, who has vigorously denied the reports, reached out to Moroccan immigrants at the events and suggested making Mimouna an official national holiday.