Three Labor MKs announced on Wednesday that they will not be running for the next Knesset, as the party continues to slump in polls.
MK Hilik Bar was one of those three MKs, having announced on Wednesday evening, “After some difficult deliberations, I have decided not to run in the upcoming primaries for Labor's Knesset list. I am not leaving the party, or public life, on the contrary. I remain a member of the party, and will work with all my might for the party's success in the coming elections.”
Bar added that "in a tragic and sad way, even if unintentionally, the Labor Party, my home, the party of Yitzhak Rabin of blessed memory, has in recent years lowered the political flag, the flag of peace, when in fact this is the most important issue on the agenda."
Earlier on Wednesday, MK Eitan Broshi decided not to run in the primaries for a spot in the Labor list for the 21st Knesset as a representative of the kibbutzim.
"The current situation of the Labor Party is of great concern to me and there is concern that it will not be able to return to the leadership of the state. There is doubt whether the Labor Party in its present form can still be the home of settlement and agriculture, and this is expressed in the spots on the list that have been designated for representatives of the moshavim and kibbutzim,” said Broshi, though he added that he had decided not to run for health reasons.
Broshi also criticized party chairman Avi Gabbay, whom he sued for libel after Gabbay referred to Broshi as a “sex offender” when several allegations of sexual harassment allegations against Broshi surfaced in the media.
"I cannot ignore the harsh and irresponsible remarks of the party chairman toward me, statements for which the judge criticized him harshly in the preliminary hearing held in court in the libel suit I filed against him," wrote Broshi.
Bar and Broshi were preceded by MK Ayelet Nahmias-Verbin, who announced on Wednesday morning that she would not seek re-election.
"Despite the great support I have been receiving, as of today, my home is not the same home. I thank the party's members and the faction for a stormy and complex term," she said.
Labor has failed to gain traction in the election polls, with some predicting that the party will not even reach double digits in Knesset seats.
The numbers in the polls have led to growing resentment for Gabbay among the Labor MKs, some of whom have sought to oust him as chairman.
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 Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.