Efrat council member joins Labor leadership race

Ya’alon fields candidate who backs polygamy

Nava Fruchter Katz from Efrat  (photo credit: SHARON KATZ)
Nava Fruchter Katz from Efrat
(photo credit: SHARON KATZ)
The Labor Party closed its list of candidates for Sunday’s leadership race with nine contestants registered to compete for leader of the party, which has not crossed the 3.25% electoral threshold in any poll.
MK Merav Michaeli was joined on the list by a casino millionaire, a belly dancer, and immigrants to Israel from Ethiopia and West Hempstead, New York.
Candidate Nava Fruchter Katz, 38, an Efrat local council member, is a businesswoman who manages two businesses of training and grooming dogs, and pet supplies. She and her husband are also the heads of the Efrat/Gush Etzion Israel Dog Unit that performs search and rescue. They train residents and their dogs for this lifesaving activity. She is a long-time member of the party. No resident of the West Bank has ever served as a Labor MK.
There are 37,092 Labor members who are eligible to vote on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 72 polling stations across the country. Voting in primaries was included among restrictions approved during the corona lockdown. Special disposable gloves will be made available to voters who do not want to touch the touchscreen to vote.
Neither Fruchter Katz, nor casino millionaire Avi Shaked, Ethiopian immigrant Yitzhak Time and belly dancer David Landsman are given much chance of winning. Losers in the race can run for a slot on the Labor list in another primary that will be held on February 1.
The Arab nationalist Balad Party will hold primaries on Sunday for its leader and its list for Knesset. Some 600 members of the Balad council will be eligible to vote in Nazareth from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. The candidates for Balad leader are incumbent Mtanes Shehadeh and MK Sami Abu Shehadeh. Whoever does not win will not serve in the next Knesset.
Telem Party leader Moshe Ya’alon announced on Thursday that one of his candidates would be Amal Abu al-Kum, a Bedouin women’s rights advocate. Hours after Ya’alon presented her, a video surfaced of her praising polygamy.
This was not the first time Ya’alon has had bad luck with his candidates. He also announced Haifa attorney Ayman Aburiya as a candidate, but then dropped him after it was revealed that Aburiya was arrested on bribery charges two years ago and that the case is still open. Four of Telem’s previous candidates have defected to other parties.