מרב מיכאלי
Labor leader Merav Michaeli
Labor leader Merav Michaeli

Struggling Labor party chooses Merav Michaeli as new leader

Veteran progressive lawmaker and former journalist is tasked with a difficult task to revive the party that founded Israel as recent polls show it fails to reach electoral threshold

Associated Press |
Published: 01.24.21 , 22:35
The Labor Party on Sunday chose Merav Michaeli, a veteran lawmaker and former journalist, as its new leader ahead of the March elections.
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  • Michaeli, who took 77% of the votes in the primary, faces a difficult task as she tries to revive the fortunes of the iconic party.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    מרב מיכאלי
    מרב מיכאלי
    Labor leader Merav Michaeli
    Labor guided Israel to independence in 1948 and led the country for its first three decades. But it has struggled to remain relevant over the past two decades as peacemaking with the Palestinians ground to a halt and the electorate appears to have embraced Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's hard-line ideology.
    Opinion polls have forecast Labor will not receive the minimum four seats, or 3.25% of the votes, needed to enter the next parliament.
    Michaeli has been a leading progressive voice in Knesset, supporting women's rights, LGBT causes and the rights of workers in addition to seeking a resume of peace talks with the Palestinians.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    איציק שמולי עמיר פרץ
    איציק שמולי עמיר פרץ
    Former Labor chairman Amir Peretz and MK Itzik Shmuli
    (Photo: Amit Shabi)
    Michaeli also broke with fellow Labor MKs Amir Peretz and Itzik Shmuli when they decided to join the coalition government Netanyahu and Blue & White chairman Benny Gantz formed following the March 2020 election, serving as an independent lawmaker in the opposition.
    In a message to supporters posted on Facebook, Michaeli urged people to "come home."
    "I call on people who feel that politics doesn't represent them, to those who feel that politics doesn't hear their voice, come home," she said.
    "Even if the Labor Party wasn't your home in the past, I promise to represent all of you."
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