Herzog: Yacimovich wrong to be optimistic in Labor race

Herzog criticized Yacimovich for leaking to press results of her volunteers' canvassing of party members.

Herzog 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Herzog 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Labor chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich is guilty of “baseless optimism” in her predictions for Thursday’s party primary, her challenger, MK Isaac Herzog, told The Jerusalem Post.
In an interview at the Knesset on Monday, Herzog criticized Yacimovich for leaking to the press the results of her volunteers’ canvassing of the 55,000 party members. She predicted, based on the results, that she would defeat Herzog by 22 percent.
Herzog said that not only does his own canvassing indicate that he will win, he, unlike her, has had professional, scientific polls taken.
Pollster Yossi Vedana found that Herzog would beat Yacimovich by 3 percent.
“Her baseless optimism will prove to be mistaken when I win the race on Thursday,” Herzog said.
Yacimovich’s campaign responded that polls in primaries have been proven to be inaccurate time and time again and that is why serious pollsters refuse to take them.
A campaign spokesman noted that pollsters predicted a landslide victory for then- Kadima leader Tzipi Livni over her challenger Shaul Mofaz, who trounced her in March 2012.
“No politician will tell you he is about to lose by a lot,” the spokesman said. “They always say the race is close.”
Herzog rejected allegations from Yacimovich that if elected he will immediately bring the party into Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s coalition.
He said such assertions were intended to scare Labor members into not voting for him.
“Only if Netanyahu leads a dramatic diplomatic process, will I convene my faction and discuss it,” Herzog said.
“There would have to a major, major change of course in the peace process.
But now that [Yisrael Beytenu chairman] Avigdor Liberman is in the government, the peace process will be put in the deep freezer.”
Herzog said that rather than join the government, he intends to build Labor as a serious alternative in a way Yacimovich has failed to do.
He said if he can unite the Center-Left bloc it could defeat the Right, which he said is weakening.
“People are fatigued because of the economy,” he said. “If I offer a true Zionist agenda and say we’re here to give up land for the sake of keeping Ma’aleh Adumim and Gush Etzion, our bloc can win the next general election.
Following a legal battle waged by Herzog, Labor decided to add more polling stations in five municipalities.
He stopped short of calling Yacimovich corrupt but said he had many reservations as to how she has managed the party and her campaign.
Some members of the committee running the election have written against Herzog on Facebook. He said he had no trust in them, but he was not working on building an excuse for not winning.
Herzog promised that is he does win, his first goal will be to keep the party intact.
“Uniting the party has to come first,” he said. “Shelly will have a distinguished role in the party and so will her MKs and other supporters.”