Labor Official Slams Gabay’s Party ‘Takeover’ Proposal

YERUSHALAYIM -
Labor chairman Avi Gabay. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)

A new proposal by Labor Party chairman Avi Gabay to centralize power in the hands of the party chairmanship – putting him in charge of several crucial matters that are currently controlled by different party officials – is not sitting well with Labor party Director General Eran Hermony and others, he said Sunday. “I demand that Gabay retract his plan and commit himself to an open and transparent process with all elements in the party. I also expect him to act in a rational way and avoid drastic, one-sided, and draconian proposals and decisions that will do nothing but raise unnecessary tensions in the party,” he said.

Hermony’s ire was raised over the plan proposed by Gabay, recently elected chairman of the party – despite the fact that he is not a serving Knesset member – in which he proposed major changes to the Labor constitution which would give him responsibility for a number of important issues that others in the party, including Hermony, are currently in charge of. The plan is being circulated among party members, and will be discussed in the Labor Party convention which will take place in the coming weeks.

According to the plan, Gabay would have the last word on which MKs would serve as committee heads, who would be named party whip among MKs, and who would serve on which committees. In addition, Gabay would personally appoint four members of the party’s first 20 candidates on the party list, with at least two among the first ten names. “The Labor Party must update itself and sharpen its weapons cache in order to develop a leadership that will utilize party resources in the best way possible,” Gabay said. His plan, he said, would ensure that the party would be able to overcome the Likud and form the next government.

Maybe, but maybe not, said Hermony. “My job is to ensure transparency in the party so that all members can speak their piece and take their stand. The Labor Party will this January celebrate 50 years of its existence. It existed long before Avi Gabay and Eran Hermony came along. It is my job that, along with winning elections, it continues to exist in the future,” he said.