Ethiopian immigrant joins Labor leadership race

Candidates also include MK, casino millionaire, adman and belly dancer

Yitzhak Time, candidate for leader of the Labor Party (photo credit: Courtesy)
Yitzhak Time, candidate for leader of the Labor Party
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Could the next leader of the Labor Party be an immigrant to Israel from Ethiopia?
Time, 38, threw his hat in Sunday's Labor leadership race ahead of Thursday's 5 p.m. deadline to enter the race.
A resident of Ashkelon, Time works in informal education and has been an activist for the party. He headed a program in the Berl Katznelson Center and ran for Knesset with Labor in the last election, in which he was placed 36th on the combined Labor-Gesher-Meretz list.
"I am running because I believe in the party, I have worked with its MKs and I am ready to lead it," Time said. "I came to the conclusion that if I don't roll up my sleeves, things won't change, and they must change, because they have gone to an extreme. We are at a junction, and it has gotten dangerous."
Labor MK Merav Michaeli is heavily favored to win the race. Besides Time, her challengers include advertising executive Gil Beilin, online casino millionaire Avi Shaked and belly dancer David Landsman.
If Time does not win the leadership race, he intends to run for a slot on Labor's list for Knesset. If elected, he would be the first Ethiopian immigrant in Labor since Addisu Messele, who served in the Knesset from 1996 to 1999.
"There are those who say I won't succeed, but I'm not worried," Time said.
There are 37,092 Labor members who are eligible to vote from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in 72 polling stations across the country. Voting in primaries was included among restrictions approved during the lockdown. Special disposable gloves will be made available to voters who do not want to touch the touchscreen to vote, due to the coronavirus.