Labor MKs call on Herzog to resign from government

Following welfare minister's announcement to challenge Barak for party leadership, MKs say "meaningful leadership actions" needed.

Herzog 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Herzog 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Four Labor MKs on Thursday praised Welfare and Social Services Minister Isaac Herzog's announcement that he intends to challenge Defense Minister Ehud Barak for leadership of the party, but added that Herzog should first resign from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government.
In a statement released shortly after Herzog's announcement, MKs Amir Pertz, Eitan Cabel, Daniel Ben-Simon and Raleb Majadele said that in order to be taken seriously by Barak, Herzog's announcement must be accompanied by "meaningful leadership actions."
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"The first step is the Labor Party's departure from the government and Herzog personally resigning from the government," said the ministers.
Herzog announced earlier on Thursday he intends to challenge Defense Minister Ehud Barak for the leadership of the Labor Party at a meeting of Labor’s executive committee at Tel Aviv’s Eretz Yisrael Museum.
The next Labor primary is currently set for October 2012, a year ahead of the set date for the next general election. But Herzog and Minorities Affairs Minister Avishay Braverman, who also intends to run, want to advance the race.
In his speech to party activists, Herzog said Labor had lost its way, was enduring a difficult crisis, and was in clinical depression.
But he said he believed it could be rehabilitated.
“People ask me why we still need the party and whether it can rise again,” Herzog said. “They tell me the party is broken and finished.
“But I intend to fight to save the party and renew it. This is the home I want to lead. I intend to run for the leadership of the party in an open, democratic, and fair process.”
Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.