Yacimovich denies fudging numbers in Labor drive

Labor leadership candidate has been accused of exaggerating the number of new party members.

Shelly Yacimovich (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Shelly Yacimovich
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Labor leadership candidate Shelly Yacimovich responded to charges from competing candidates over the weekend that she had released false information exaggerating the number of new Labor members she registered in the party’s membership drive.
After Yacimovich’s campaign boasted bringing in 17,000 new members, candidates running against her said she registered only half that.
They cited as proof initial statements from her campaign that most of their drive was conducted via the Internet, before it became apparent that only 6,500 people had joined the party online.
In a statement from Yacimovich’s campaign manager Ofer Cornfeld published on her website, he claimed to have registered exactly 17,413 new members, including 6,480 online, 6,011 via forms hand delivered to Labor headquarters, and hundreds who joined via their kibbutzim or Labor’s Young Guard.
The campaigns of MKs Amir Peretz and Isaac Herzog continued to dispute Yacimovich’s numbers. Peretz’s associates said it made no sense that nearly all the people who joined online were her supporters.
“Anyone who was at Labor headquarters in the last week of the drive knows that the two leading candidates are now Peretz and Herzog,” Herzog’s campaign said.
In a Shabbat cultural event in Givatayim on Saturday, Herzog said the drive put Labor back on the political map. He said the party can no longer be mocked.
Former Labor chairman Amram Mitzna said at a similar event in Tel Aviv that the 8,000 people he registered were “ideological people who care about the party and the country.”
Mitzna expressed optimism that members signed up by other candidates would ultimately decide to vote for him instead.