The oldest party in Israel – the one that historically founded the State of Israel, together with Mapai – declared another historic first on Tuesday night, but one that wasn’t nearly as joyous.
Exit polls indicated that Labor won six seats at the most – just two seats more than the minimum required to be able to enter the Israeli Parliament.
It was the worst showing the party has ever made in an Israeli election, and the party chiefs pointed the finger party chairman Avi Gabai, rather than consider the entire picture.
“Tonight is the hardest time ever, in the history of my home,” said Labor party official Eitan Cabel. “The Labor Party, a movement that established the State. . . received the worst result in its history.
“Gabai kept his promise and brought the house down on us,” Cabel complained. “The failure can be registered only in his name. He no longer has a mandate to run the party, and should resign tonight.”
Cabel was a hard-left member of the Zionist Union faction, in which Hatnua party leader Tzipi Livni merged with Labor in the previous election. Gabai publicly dissolved the merger at a joint news conference with Livni earlier this year, leaving Livni to politically fend for herself, and ultimately to be left without any “home party” for this electoral round.
Gabai delivered a quasi-concession speech at around midnight at the Labor Party headquarters, but made no offer to resign.