MK blasts 'dictator' Herzog at faction meeting

MK Erel Margalit attacks Labor chairman for his refusal to hold primaries, as faction meeting turns ugly.

Hezki Baruch ,

MK Erel Margalit
MK Erel Margalit
Flash 90

The weekly faction meeting of the Zionist Union party turned ugly on Monday, when MK Erel Margalit turned on party chairman Yitzhak Herzog and demanded that primaries for the party leadership be held as soon as possible.

“You are a dictator,” Margalit charged at Herzog, adding, “There is no validity for a leadership that doesn't go to an election. We will turn into Yair Lapid, you are freezing us in the freezer."

The reference to Lapid is due to the fact that he recently secretly amended the Yesh Atid party's bylaws, which called for primaries after two Knesset terms, and declared himself party chairman for two more terms.

Margalit's remarks against Herzog did not go unanswered, as MK Tzipi Livni fired back at him and angrily said, “Keep your quarrels to the Labor party. You are destroying what we have built up with hard work.”

The Zionist Union is, of course, an alliance between Livni's Hatnua party and the Labor party, to which Herzog, Margalit and the majority of the alliance's MKs belong.

At Monday's meeting, MK Eitan Cabel also fired back at Margalit and said, “Stop doing a round about on us. If you want, let's see you convening a meeting of the Central Committee.”

Margalit then accused Herzog and Cabel of being partners in a ploy to destroy the Labor party.

The tense meeting is the latest reflection of a growing rift among Labor MKs.

Herzog has been under attack from his fellow MKs in recent months, for both his public declarations that it is currently impossible to reach the two-state solution, as well as for his refusal to hold primaries for the Labor leadership.

Herzog's opponents in the party have, in turn, accused him of eyeing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's coalition because of his actions to postpone the primaries.