Shaffir Spurns Shmuli Deal on Eve of Labor Primary

Labor party parliament member Itzik Shmuli. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Itzik Shmuli’s bid to make the three-way race for the Labor party leadership into a two-race was unceremoniously stiff-armed by rival candidate Stav Shaffir on Monday.

Shaffir scorned his offer to hold a pre-primary poll of party members to decide whether he or she would run in Tuesday’s primary against Amir Peretz. Shmuli’s idea was that the only way to defeat former chairman Peretz, who represents the old guard, and replace him with the freshness of youth, would be for either Shmuli or Shaffir to bow out and throw support behind the other, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Shaffir wasn’t buying. “The thousands of people who joined Labor to support me are not interested in political deals but in new hope for the party,” Shaffir tweeted. “If they go out and vote, I will become the new head of the party.”

Not stopping there, Shaffir accused Shmuli of making the offer only because he was scared of losing to her.

Shmuli insisted that running against each other would only succeed in splitting the voters who want to save the Labor party from the oblivion for which it seems headed.

“If the change camp will unite, we will win, and if we split, we will lose to Amir,” Shmuli wrote back. “The time has come to put an end to rumors and political spin and stop the ego games.”

Meanwhile, Ehud Barak announced another big name for his new party, which doesn’t have a name yet.

Noa Rothman, the granddaughter of Yitzchak Rabin, said on Monday that she has decided to run for Knesset with Barak.

Rothman said in a statement that it was not an easy decision, but that she “could no longer sit on the sidelines” in the current political crisis.

She said that while she disagreed with Barak on some issues, it was time for “brave, determined and experienced” leaders to step forward, apparently referring to Barak.

Rothman, 43, is an author, attorney and mother of three, and has not been active politically, except for speeches at memorial events for her grandfather, often warning against incitement in the political arena.


Labor MK Itzik Shmuli. Tomer Neuberg/Flash90

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