Cabel: Dozens want to quit Labor party

Party's secretary-general says he won't accept ministry or c'tee chairmanship in Likud-led gov't.

eitan cabel disapproves (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
eitan cabel disapproves
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Labor Secretary-General Eitan Cabel, who was a fierce opponent of the party joining a Likud-led government, said Wednesday that following the previous day's decision to join the coalition, he had received calls from dozens of Labor members, asking to renounce their memberships. "Since this morning, I have received dozens of phone calls from party members, particularly youngsters, asking to cancel their memberships," Cabel told Army Radio. "It's not an economic issue, but an ethical one of the first degree that we have to deal with." Cabel stressed he did not intend to leave the party, but that he would not accept any ministry or chairmanship of a Knesset committee. On the other hand, Education Minister Yuli Tamir said that she was considering her political future. She blasted the move "to sit in a right-wing government, rather than offering an alternative," and said that Labor had become irrelevant. Infrastructure Minster Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, a proponent of joining the government, defended his support of the move. "The voter has decided that he/she prefers something else, not us," he said. "The voter also wants a right-wing government, but I question whether I can abandon the country." Another supporter of the move, Welfare and Social Services Minister Isaac Herzog, denied that the party was abandoning its ideals, insisting that even in a Netanyahu government, Labor would continue to pursue a two-state solution, saying it "stems from the validity of the Annapolis agreement and the Road Map."