Labor and Likud primaries may be postponed over security concerns

Both primaries are for the parties' lists for the Knesset and not for the lead of the party.

Israel's Labor Party holds primaries ahead of the March 2021 elections. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Israel's Labor Party holds primaries ahead of the March 2021 elections.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

The Labor and Likud primaries planned for this Tuesday and Wednesday might be postponed due to Operation Breaking Dawn, the parties announced on Sunday.

However, if the ceasefire announced on Sunday evening holds, both parties expect to hold the elections as planned.

The Labor primary is set to be held electronically, which allows voters to vote remotely. However, voting stations will be open for people who cannot or do not wish to vote electronically in Jerusalem, Haifa, Tel Aviv and Beersheba. All of these stations except Haifa could potentially be affected by rocket threats, and might affect some Labor members’ ability to cast their vote.

“Over the weekend, we tensely followed what was happening in the South,” Labor Party CEO Nir Rozen said in a statement. “Labor expresses complete solidarity with the residents of the South and strengthens the security forces,” he said.

Threat of postponement

The Likud primary is under a more serious threat of postponement as the party’s voting is done physically.

"Over the weekend we tensely followed what was happening in the South. Labor expresses complete solidarity with the residents of the South and strengthens the security forces."

Labor party CEO Nir Rozen
Merav Michaeli elected as Labor leader, July, 18, 2022. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)Merav Michaeli elected as Labor leader, July, 18, 2022. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

If the operation does not end soon after Tisha Be’av, the chances are high that the primary will be postponed, Maariv reported. If this happens, they could be postponed until September since many Israelis go on vacation during the month of August, Maariv reported Likud sources as saying.

Both primaries are for the parties’ lists for the Knesset and not for leadership of the party, as Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli defeated her challenger in a separate vote on July 18, and opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu was not challenged for the party lead.

The operation also affected Blue and White - The New Hope campaign, as party leader and Defense Minister Benny Gantz instructed his party’s MKs to freeze their campaign activities and dedicate their time to visit and assist the residents of the Gaza border area and the South.

The Meretz and Religious Zionist primaries are scheduled for August 23. Two Arab parties, Ra’am and Balad, chose their representatives in party assemblies on Saturday. Hadash is scheduled to do the same this Saturday. The final Arab party, Ta’al, is scheduled to choose its representatives on August 27.

Balad, Hadash and Ta'al are the three parties that make up the Joint List. Ra'am, led by Mansour Abbas, is expected to run independently in the upcoming election, as it did in the past one.

Party lists must be handed in to the Election Committee by 10 p.m. on September 15.