Israeli left looks to build up support in haredi community

Labor Party Central Committee approves addition of haredi division in bid to expand appeal.

Hezki Baruch ,

Isaac Herzog visits Beitar Illit
Isaac Herzog visits Beitar Illit

The Labour Party Central Committee approved on Sunday the addition of a haredi division within the party, to be led by haredi members, in an effort to expand the appeal of a party that has not held the premiership in over 15 years.

Opposition leader and Labor Party Chairman Isaac Herzog praised the move, which was approved by the committee without opposition.

“I’m happy that the party held a democratic hearing on the crafting of the party’s regulations, including the approval for a haredi division of the Labor Party, which was unanimously passed. That is an important social statement to Israeli society, that the Labor Party is the home of all population groups.”

The Labor Party, whose appeal has traditionally been to the secular left, hopes to regain some of its lost electoral power in an era when few Prime Ministers have come from Labor. In the past 30 years, Labor has only won two elections in that period– 1992 and 1999 – governing for a total of less than six years.

Recent polls show the party, which won 24 seats in a joint list with the Hatnua faction, plummeting to an all-time low of 8-10 seats.