Following the exit of MK Yitzchak Herzog (Zionist Union) from the Knesset, to become the chairman of the Jewish Agency, the battle began to see who would replace Herzog and be appointed the new head of the opposition.
Ahead of the 2015 elections, Tzipi Livni’s small Hatnua party (5 seats) merged with the larger Labor party (19 seats) to form the Zionist Union party, and Livni was awarded the number two slot in their joint list. As a result, Livni determined following Herzog’s exit, despite her smaller representation within the Zionist Union, she should be appointed as head of the opposition.
Livni even threatened to dissolve the partnership if she didn’t receive the appointment.
Needless to say, other members of the Labor party were not exactly thrilled with the opposition leader position going to Livni, and not to a member of the larger Labor party.
Labor chairman Avi Gabai, Livni’s nemesis, also preferred Labor’s MK Shelly Yachimovich in the coveted role of opposition leader. While Gabai is head of the Labor party, he is not a Knesset member and is not eligible for the position.
On Monday, Gabai announced that Livni would be appointed head of the opposition, while Tzipi Livni graciously announced that Gabai would continue to be the Zionist Union’s candidate for Prime Minister, and both agreed to not dissolve the Zionist Union, as Livni previously threatened.
Gabai announced that Shelly Yachimovich said she wants to remain as chairman of the State Oversight Committee.
You know what they say, “A bird in hand…”