Gab­bay wins right to woo gen­er­als

Jerusalem Post - - NEWS - • By GIL HOFF­MAN

La­bor chair­man Avi Gab­bay passed sweep­ing changes in his party’s con­sti­tu­tion at a con­ven­tion on Thurs­day that will aid his ef­forts to re­cruit for­mer gen­er­als.

The changes give Gab­bay the right to select four can­di­dates in re­al­is­tic slots for the next Knes­set, two of whom would be placed in the top 10 on the list. Gab­bay said this week that if he be­came prime min­is­ter, he would ap­point a for­mer IDF chief of staff as his de­fense min­is­ter.

There are six for­mer IDF chiefs of staff who are cur­rently not part of an ex­ist­ing po­lit­i­cal party: Gabi Ashke­nazi, Ehud Barak, Benny Gantz, Dan Ha­lutz, Shaul Mo­faz and Moshe Ya’alon. The Jerusalem Post asked all six if they were in­ter­ested in a re­served slot on the La­bor list and none agreed to com­ment.

The changes ap­proved at the con­ven­tion make Gab­bay the strong­est chair­man ever in the sto­ried his­tory of his party and its fore­run­ners. The new La­bor leader also re­ceived the right to choose the party’s fac­tion head, Knes­set com­mit­tee chair­men, and which MKs will serve on each com­mit­tee.

“We have one goal – to bring change to Is­rael, and we will reach this goal if we win,” Gab­bay said. “There will be no more camps in La­bor.”

For­mer La­bor chair­man MK Amir Peretz, who lost to Gab­bay in the July 10 party lead­er­ship race, chal­lenged Gab­bay, say­ing that it is wrong to give him the right to re­serve slots with­out know­ing who they were for. He said he would wel­come re­served slots for Ashke­nazi or Gantz

Peretz said Gab­bay’s changes were un­demo­cratic. He warned him against re­ceiv­ing ad­vice from “the tweeter who brought our party down to 13 [Knes­set] seats,” re­fer­ring to Barak.

After the vote, Peretz hinted he would have won if the vote was con­ducted by se­cret bal­lot. A re­quest for a se­cret-bal­lot vote by an ac­tivist loyal to Peretz was re­jected by an in­ter­nal La­bor court. An­other court ruled on Thurs­day that La­bor must hold elec­tions for party in­sti­tu­tions by April, which Peretz said was good news for him.

Un­like pre­vi­ous La­bor con­ven­tions, Gab­bay did not let the event be em­ceed by the party’s sec­re­tary-gen­eral, Eran Her­moni. Her­moni de­liv­ered a fiery speech in which he de­fended his op­po­si­tion to Gab­bay.

“I fought against pro­pos­als that would harm La­bor, be­cause that is what hap­pens in a demo­cratic party,” Her­moni said.


LA­BOR PARTY chair­man Avi Gab­bay (left) speaks with his pre­de­ces­sor, MK Isaac Her­zog, dur­ing the party’s con­ven­tion yes­ter­day in Tel Aviv.

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