Labor Party chief Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) was greeted by the jeers of angry hecklers as he addressed a party meeting on Sunday ahead of the Labor Central Committee’s decision regarding the date of the next primary election.
Herzog, who has recently faced criticism from within the party over comments seemingly rejecting the feasibility of the two state solution at the present time, pushed for the delay of internal leadership elections to roughly one year from now, to mid-2017.
But rivals including former party chair Shelly Yachimovich and Erel Margalit, who have hoped to capitalize on Herzog’s poor performance in recent polls, sought to set the date for party primaries sometime before the end of 2016.
Party activists heckled Herzog as he addressed the gathering and urged party members to back a delay for the party primaries, a move widely seen as an effort to buy more time to strengthen his position within the party.
Despite the jeering from the crowd, however, the vast majority of the party Central Committee backed Herzog’s bid to push off the primary vote until 2017.
Nearly two thirds of committee members voted in favor of Herzog’s proposal, with 750 members supporting primaries in 2017, compared to 402 who opposed.
The vote is an important win for Herzog, as it not only gives the Zionist Union chief more time to improve his position, but also serves as a barometer of his popularity within the party.