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Elham AbolFateh

Middle East

Gabbay won’t run to keep Labor leadership، will stay in Knesset

Sunday 19/May/2019 - 11:51 AM
Avi Gabbay
Avi Gabbay


The Times of Israel

Labor chairman Avi Gabbay will not run again for the party leadership in primaries slated for November، but does not plan to quit the Knesset، party sources told Zman Yisrael، the Times of Israel’s Hebrew site، on Saturday.

Gabbay has refused interviews since the April 9 elections in which Labor won just six Knesset seats — a historic low for the storied party. A Labor source said that in private conversations، the faction leader has argued that the Yesh Atid-Israel Resilience merger ahead of the elections tipped the scales in favor of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu، and badly hurt Labor.

According to Gabbay، the associate said، the union of parties that make up Blue and White — Israel Resilience، Yesh Atid and Telem — deterred right-wing voters، who in turn responded to Benjamin Netanyahu’s “save me” calls and came to the polls in droves in order to hand Likud 35 seats.

“The Blue and White merger was unnecessary and caused tremendous damage،” Gabbay’s associate quoted him as having said in conversations since the election. According to the Labor chairman، the strategy of the center-left camp should have been the opposite: Each party should have run on its own. In such a scenario، Gabbay has argued that Netanyahu would not have had a pretext to “frighten” his base so much. Each party from the center and left would have accumulated its own seats، which together would have made up more than 45 — the total number of seats Blue and White (35)، Labor (6) and Meretz (4) garnered in the April 9 vote.

Edited by Rabea Yehia

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