Labor Party chairwoman Merav Michaeli met in Washington on Monday with Liz Shuler, the president of the AFL-CIO, an umbrella group for 56 unions with 12.5 million members.
The meeting was an opportunity to renew ties between the Israeli Labor Party and the labor movement in the US at a time when progressives are becoming increasingly influential in the Democratic Party.
“Labor’s ties with social-democratic organizations around the world are based on the values of equality, a just economy, protecting workers’ rights and pursuing peace,” Michaeli said. “Our strong ties will lead to diplomatic progress, strengthening our bond with the US and creating a new reality in which the social-democratic vision will lead the State of Israel.”
The meeting was initiated by Michaeli’s close friend Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers.
Michaeli and her partner, comedian Lior Schleien, will return to Israel soon, following six weeks in the United States, where their son, Uri, was delivered by a surrogate mother. Michaeli remained in the US to take care of the boy while the Knesset was on recess and participated in meetings virtually.
Weingarten is the wife of Sharon Kleinbaum, the rabbi of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah, an LGBT synagogue in New York with many families that have been expanded with the help of surrogates. Labor officials declined to comment on whether Kleinbaum helped Michaeli through the process.