Gabbay undecided on adding star to Labor

Avi Gabbay vows to help nemesis enter Knesset.

Labor leader Avi Gabbay speaks to mayors from his party Thursday in Haifa (photo credit: ELAD GUTMAN)
Labor leader Avi Gabbay speaks to mayors from his party Thursday in Haifa
(photo credit: ELAD GUTMAN)
Labor leader Avi Gabbay began efforts Tuesday to evaluate whether to add a well-known security figure to his party’s list ahead of the February 21 deadline to submit candidates to the Central Elections Committee.
In radio interviews, Gabbay said he was happy with the team of candidates selected in Monday’s Labor primary. But he said he would not rule out adding candidates or running with another party to make up for whatever the list might be lacking.
“I will do everything possible to enlarge our camp and bring about a political upheaval in Israel,” Gabbay told Army Radio. “We will evaluate what contributes to that goal.”
Gabbay claimed that “there are many people who want reserved slots on our list.” But he said the quality of the candidates Labor members chose “decreased the need to use the slots.”
Labor’s convention last month gave Gabbay the right to reserve the second and tenth slots on the list for candidates of his choosing. If he does not use them, the candidates chosen Monday would move up on the list, including Gabbay’s nemesis, MK Eitan Cabel, who is currently in the far from realistic 15th slot on the list.
Gabbay told Army Radio tht he did not work to prevent Cabel from entering the Knesset. He said he still hoped Cabel would get in.
“Our job is not to bring seven seats like polls predict but much, much more, so Cabel will also be an MK, and I think it will happen,” Gabbay said.
But Cabel told KAN radio that Gabbay tried to end his career in the primary. He called upon Gabbay not to use the reserved slots, not to help him but to help the candidates in front of him.
“I got slapped in the face, even though I worked hard in the Knesset,” Cabel said.
MK Itzik Shmuly, who won the most votes in the primary, said Gabbay should use the reserved slots only for candidates who share Labor’s ideology and add would add mandates to the party.
But MK Stav Shaffir, who finished second in the primary, said Labor needs to add a security figure, because it is a ruling party.
Names raised include former prime minister Ehud Barak and former Shin-Bet chief Yuval Diskin.
Gabbay was heckled at Tuesday’s Jerusalem Conference for saying “the Gaza disengagement was the right step.”
“Get used to it,” he responded to the hecklers. “There are also different views.”