Was a deal made between Yechimovich and Cabel?

Knesset members deny reports and recordings of agreement that she run for Histadrut in exchange for supporting his Labor Party leadership.

Mordechai Sones,

Shelly Yechimovich and Eitan Cabel
Shelly Yechimovich and Eitan Cabel
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Was there a deal between Zionist Union MKs Shelly Yechimovich and Eitan Cabel about MK Yechimovich's heading the Histadrut, Israel's organization of trade unions, one of the most powerful institutions in Israel?

Channel 2 presented tonight (Thursday) recordings that evidence an agreement that Yechimovich run for Histadrut leadership as a representative of Cabel's faction, and in exchange she will support his race for the Labor Party.

In the recordings Cabel is heard telling his supporters, "I've met with my people, I want to go with Shelly for Histadrut. Shelly agrees to support me in elections for party leadership." He cryptically continues, "I will need your help in this matter. How did I say it? I gave you a deposit, you know, about this, and the time has come..."

Cabel told his faction colleagues in the Histadrut, "All along I have said that the party is a tool to promote me - didn't I tell you that all along? I don't care about the Histadrut, I don't care to be in the Histadrut, it does not interest me."

"Life is dynamic, politics isn't about someone sitting around waiting for you, who knows it like you, in your political life, this is a huge opportunity in the Histadrut and in the Labor Party," Cabel is heard saying in the recording.

MK Shelly Yechimovich said in response that "There wasn't and there won't be a deal; not verbally, not in writing. Eitan Cabel didn't ask, didn't condition, and didn't bring up my supporting him and consequently the subject didn't arise."

"My supporters in the party are free agents who do not take orders from anyone. My decision about whom to support will be, as always, according to what is desirable and suitable for the party and the state, not on the basis of sundry backroom politics, and I suggest [Histadrut head] Nissenkorn cease his desperate efforts to thwart elections, because elections are a fait accompli," said Yechimovich.

MK Cabel said that "What I said in the conversation I said out of wishful thinking, which even I do not know if I want to carry through. There is not and there was no deal between Shelly and me; I didn't ask her to support me for party leadership and therefore she never promised it.

"Leaking selective sections of six-hour-long conversations is another last gasp of Nissenkorn and [Nissenkorn's predecessor] the Eini family avoiding contending, and these efforts are indicative of the fear they feel. Leaks have the value of gossip and are certainly not legal. Elections will happen and Nissenkorn needs to accept that," said Cable.