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November 30, 2015 / 18 Kislev, 5776
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Labor Party’s Tradition Kept: New Chief Every Primary

The outgoing chairperson, Yacimovich, failed to win enough seats to become a viable alternative.
Labor Party elected MK Yitzhak "Buji" Herzog as its new chairman.

Labor Party elected MK Yitzhak "Buji" Herzog as its new chairman.
Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Israel’s Labor Party elected MK Yitzhak “Buji” Herzog as its new chairman, with 58% of the vote, while incumbent chair MK Shelly Yacimovich picked up only 42%.

The tragedy, however, lies in the real numbers: the new contender for leadership of Israel’s Left received all of 16,652 votes, while his opponent got 11,821. That’s the sum total of Israel’s historic Labor party today, and the only real statistics to be considered in ushering it out of relevance.

Since 1995, a new leader has been picked to carry the torch every primary.

In 2009, Labor hit rock bottom with the voter, when it only picked 13 Knesset seats, under Chairman Ehud Barak. The latter then abandoned the party with four other MKs, leaving it with a single digit Knesset delegation for the first time in its illustrious history.

The outgoing chairperson, Yacimovich, expected to win more than 20 seats and, once again, make a difference in coalition politics. But her two close rivals, Yair Lapid and Tzipi LIvni, stole her thunder and left her behind with only 15 seats.

That was not acceptable to the Labor rank and file, who ousted her, as per their tradition of almost two decades.

No news, in other words.

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.

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