Victory for Gabbay at Labor Central Committee

Labor Party Central Committee approves Gabbay's proposal to reserve spots on Knesset list for candidates of his choice.

Yoni Kempinski,

Avi Gabbay at Labor Central Committee
Avi Gabbay at Labor Central Committee
Photo: TPS

The Labor Party Central Committee on Thursday approved the proposal of party chairman Avi Gabbay to amend the party's regulations and list ahead of the elections for the 21st Knesset.

The proposal grants Gabbay the authority to reserve three spots on the Labor party’s Knesset list for candidates of his choice.

In a speech before the vote on the proposal, Gabbay called on Yair Lapid and Benny Gantz to commit that they will not sit in a government headed by Binyamin Netanyahu after the elections. During his speech, Gabbay’s opponents booed him loudly, and several dozen people blew whistles in protest against him.

“Lapid and Gantz - You both saw the Prime Minister's horror show this week. In a normal country, a prime minister does not attack the law enforcement authorities. I know, you know, and everyone knows that millions of good Israelis are missing a normal country," Gabbay said.

"You cannot be shocked by Netanyahu's attacks on the law enforcement authorities and then run to join his coalition. We commit ourselves to change in the State of Israel. And I call you, join the change. Join a coalition of change,” he continued.

"I urge you to commit that you will not sit in Netanyahu's government. And this is not only about indictments, but about our common path and future in the State of Israel," added the Labor chairman.

The Labor party has continuously recorded low numbers in election polls, leading to growing resentment for Gabbay among the Labor MKs, some of whom have sought to oust him as chairman. A poll published on Tuesday gave Labor just eight Knesset seats.

Gabbay has dismissed the polls which predict his party will not reach double digits in Knesset seats in the next elections and insists he is an alternative to Netanyahu.

Speaking at Thursday’s gathering, MK Eitan Cabel, one of the MKs who have been leading the rebellion against Gabbay, blasted the chairman’s plan to reserve three spots on the Labor list.

"To all those who think that I am going to resign - forget it. This is my home, I fought for it, no one will throw me out of my house, your house. We are here in a battle for our home, our values ​​that we believe in,” said Cabel.

Cabel presented the results of a polygraph test that proved that he did not lie when he revealed earlier this week that Gabbay had threatened to "destroy" the party.

"Gabbay claimed that I had lied that he threatened to destroy the party on us. This morning I initiated a polygraph test and found to be telling the truth. It was discovered once again that he lied, and not for the first time."

"Everything is on you,” charged Cabel, turning directly to Gabbay. “You dismantled the Zionist Union without consulting, you led, you navigated. This failure is 100% on Gabbay. I call for open primaries for the party leadership even before the elections, and I do not intend to run.”