MK Itzik Shmuli held a press conference Sunday evening with the leaders of the Labor-Gesher Party and announced that he is remaining in the party.
MK Shmuli said that "the Labor Party is my home, and even when there are disagreements and arguments, I remain committed to it and won't abandon it in the difficult moments."
"Amir, Orly and I share the same social vision in which Israel rises and thrives, but no one is left behind. The choice I have is between standing by Amir in the struggle for home and on the camp's chances of winning (albeit in a different way), and between a promising and comfortable personal exit elsewhere, knowing that I caused damage to my political home and my friends whom I love," added Shmuli.
"I choose to remain in the Labor Party and continue to fight for its values, the values that have been guiding the Labor movement that established the state of Israel for years. Together we will work to ensure that after the coming elections there will be a government here that sees all its citizens and acts for them."
"In Labor, people are before everything, and Itzik Shmuli is a leader of the people," Labor chairman Amir Peretz said. "There are those who made choices lightly and there are those who are here for the long way. At the end of a long path, we will be transformed from a political party into a broad political home based on ideology rather than on a merger of interests. Anyone who wants to see a real alternative connected to its citizens, whoever wants social security, whoever wants moral leadership with a vision - will choose Labor-Gesher."
"We are the only alternative to Netanyahu's social apathy, The disconnection and arrogance of the right-wing government under his leadership will replace partnership and unity. We will bring social security to every Israeli in every place," Peretz added.
Gesher chairman Orly Levy-Abekasis said: "Itzik and I have had many struggles together as members of the Knesset from different sides, with a shared path and a genuine desire to change the face of Israeli society. What you are witnessing today is a brave merger. We did not come to politics in order to enjoy an easy life."