Erel Margalit Rising Star in Zionist Camp, Poll Shows

Zionist Camp parliament member Erel Margalit Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Zionist Camp MK Erel Margalit. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

As internal criticism of Yitzchak Herzog in Zionist Camp in recent weeks has risen over his failed negotiations with Binyamin Netanyahu on entering the coalition, several MKs have been outspoken in demanding that Herzog step aside. Among them is MK Erel Margalit, and a new poll shows that he is among the top contenders for leadership of the party.

The poll, conducted by the Rafi Smith organization for Haaretz, shows Margalit comes in second as the most popular choice for leadership of the party, behind Shelly Yechimovich. Margalit has in recent weeks taken an aggressive tone against Herzog’s leadership of the party, culminating in sharp criticism of Herzog after the negotiations with Netanyahu failed.

Margalit last week slammed Herzog for “crawling on his hands and knees” to join Netanyahu’s government. “Labor will be seen as an alternative only when it returns to being a fighting opposition, and not as a party waiting in the wings to join the government.”

Yechimovich leads the polling for leadership of the party, with 24 percent of members saying they preferred her, while Margalit comes in a close second, at 21 percent. Herzog is preferred only by 15 percent of constituents. Following in fourth place is Amir Peretz, with 13 percent, and in fifth is MK Amir Bar-Lev, preferred by 5 percent of members.