Conflict in Labor as Michaeli aims to solidify control

The Labor Party will be holding an online convention on Thursday.

 Labor head Merav Michaeli at faction meetings, December 13, 2021.  (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Labor head Merav Michaeli at faction meetings, December 13, 2021.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

The Labor Party will hold an online convention on Thursday at which party chairwoman Merav Michaeli will attempt to strengthen her control over the party.

Michaeli will try to pass a proposal that will add some 380 new convention members, most of whom will be women, in an attempt to make the party more egalitarian. The members of the convention will also vote on restructuring Labor institutions and courts and instituting new fees for petitions to the courts.

Sources close to Michaeli said the changes are necessary to prepare Labor for the 21st century. They pointed out that the current party bylaws were written in the 1960s and needed to be updated properly.

But Labor secretary-general Eran Hermoni, who has been fighting with Michaeli for more than a year, accused her of attempting political thievery. He urged convention members to vote against her proposals and prevent her from obtaining too much power.

“Vote against the anti-democratic proposals, which would turn Labor from a democratic party into a one-woman show,” Hermoni wrote Labor activists. “Labor is not a personal niche party of anyone. It must return to being a playing field for top players.”

LABOR leader Merav Michaeli speaks at faction meeting on August 2, 2021 (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)LABOR leader Merav Michaeli speaks at faction meeting on August 2, 2021 (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Meanwhile, 30 people attended a meeting late Tuesday at the Shoresh home of renegade Yisrael Beytenu MK Eli Avidar that was seen as an independent political show of force.

A spokesman for Avidar said the meeting was attended by many leaders of the protest movements against former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The activists planned their efforts to pass a bill that could prevent Netanyahu from running for prime minister in the next election.

But the spokesman said no steps have been taken to form a new party, and there was no talk of such a step at the meeting.