Amir Peretz
Amir Peretz Kobi Richter/TPS

Labor chairman-elect Amir Peretz announced on Tuesday evening that he would forego the celebration of his victory following the protest by members of the Ethiopian Israeli community.

"This evening is a very exciting evening for me and I feel the weight of the responsibility on my shoulders. This evening should bring hope to the hearts of all the peace and social justice-loving citizens, and I thank all those who supported as well as those who supported the other candidates, Itzik Shmuli and Stav Shafir who are an important part of the leadership of the party and its future,” said Peretz.

“I decided not to hold a celebration of the victory because of the deep social rift that is intensifying before our eyes. The protest of the Ethiopian Israelis is an expression of the longstanding feeling of discrimination that they carry with them. Tomorrow we will carry out all the necessary actions to unite the party and turn it into a political home for every Israeli,” he added.

Peretz returns to the Labor leadership after winning 47% of the vote in Tuesday’s primaries. He was followed by Stav Shafir who won 26.9% of the votes and Itzik Shmuli who won 26.3%. The final voter turnout was 46%, with some 30,000 members of the Labor Party participating in the elections.