Labor parley set for showdown

Latest scuffle between Shelly Yacimovich and Amir Peretz will focus on fate of Histadrut Chairman Ofer Eini.

Labor chairwoman MK Shelly Yacimovich 311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Labor chairwoman MK Shelly Yacimovich 311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
The race for leader of the Labor Party technically ended on September 21, when MK Shelly Yacimovich defeated her former mentor, MK Amir Peretz.
But since then, Peretz has continued to flex his muscles and make life difficult for Yacimovich. Those efforts will continue Wednesday night when Labor’s 2,100 central committee members gather at Tel Aviv’s Beit Hahayal for a party convention.
RELATED:Yacimovich: Contract workers' strike is justified'Labor Party will not join government coalition'
The current focus of the fight between the two is over Yacimovich’s plan for Labor to support the re-election in May of Ofer Eini as chairman of the Histadrut Labor Federation, a post Peretz once held.
Peretz wanted Labor to field its own candidate, rather than back Eini, who is technically a Labor member but was elected representing an independent faction called Ogen. But Yacimovich is expected to easily pass her proposal for Labor to back Eini, who played an instrumental role in getting her elected Labor leader.
“She is apparently paying him back for services rendered,” a source close to Peretz said. “She said she would do everything democratically but she is blocking party members from running democratically. This is a bad sign for the future.”
Peretz’s brother-in-law, Sammy Shoshan, tried unsuccessfully to get the convention delayed in an internal Labor Party court. Now Peretz is pushing for the vote on Eini to take place by secret ballot.
Labor MK Eitan Cabel intends to run against Eini for the Histadrut chairmanship as a representative of an outside list unaffiliated with Labor. Peretz and his allies in the Histadrut are expected to work on his behalf ahead of the election.
“My candidacy is entirely independent and has nothing to do with the fight between Amir and Shelly,” Cabel said.
“Peretz isn’t running me. I’m running on my own.”
The convention will be chaired by David Liba’i, who was justice minister in the government of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.