Labor defections follow vote to join coalition - Israel News, Ynetnews

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Triki: Labor is lost
Triki: Labor is lost 
Hasson: Come find Kadima Photo: Gil Yohanan
Hasson: Come find Kadima Photo: Gil Yohanan

Labor defections follow vote to join coalition

Party leaders worry trend will continue, while Kadima hopes to frame itself as new center-left party, take advantage of available constitutents

Attila Somfalvi
Published: 03.27.09, 00:32 / Israel News

The decision by the Labor party to join a Likud-led coalition enraged many of its members. In recent days, dozens of constituents have asked to cancel party membership, in protest of a union with a right-wing government.


Senior faction leaders opposed to the decision expressed worries that this trend would continue in upcoming days. Kadima members hope so and are trying to take advantage of it.

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Kadima faction head MK Yoel Hasson told Ynet that it would attempt to make contact with groups of Labor youths and other sectors within the party, in an attempt to draw them to Kadima. Hasson said that "as it stands, there's no bottom line, but efforts are being made."


Associates of Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni estimated that Labor's choice to join the coalition will allow Kadima to court Labor members and Labor voters.


If enough Labor supporters are interested in defecting, Kadima may even have a welcoming ceremony for them, to signify that the party representative of center-left is Kadima rather than Labor, party members said.


Nonetheless, there are those in Kadima who are not happy with its move to the opposition. "It would have been correct to make an effort to join the government," a party member  told Ynet. But they said they intended to back Livni completely.


In the meantime, bitter Labor members expressed their feelings of betrayal. Lifelong party member Shimon Triki, the secretary of Kibbutz Sde Boker, sent a letter to Labor's Secretary-General Eitan Cabel, announcing his intention to quit the party.


"My father was active in the movement even in Morocco, a member of the Palmach and a pillar of the party all his life. Our home was a hub for political activity and visits from party leadership. It was where I was raised in the tradition of the Labor (in Hebrew, avoda) party, which is now the lost (in Hebrew, avuda) party," he wrote.


Yael Levy contributed to this report


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