The Labor Party Chairman Isaac ‘Bougie’ Herzog was greeted by a torrent of boos and jeers by his own party on Sunday afternoon during a party convention held at Beit HaChayal in Tel Aviv.
The convention was convened in order to settle a dispute as to when the primaries for the party leadership would be held. As it got underway however, party members yelled at Herzog: “Bougie go home!”
Herzog responded to the calls by saying, “they already called me a dog and it didn’t help. I am not going anywhere. This is our home and we will protect it from agitators. We will vote logically.”
“At the end of the day,” Herzog added, “The person who makes noise is causing damage to his own cause. The party needs to know how to show respect.”
MK Hilik Bar, the party secretary-general, tried to silence the opposition factions saying, “Whoever doesn’t like it can go home.”
The jeering came against a background of a power struggle between Herzog—who is requesting to set the primaries for the middle of next year—and MKs Shelly Yachimovich and Erel Margalit, who are demanding that they be scheduled no later than the end of 2016.
Last week, it was decided that voting for the party elections would be anonymous, since the party's regulations state that such rules are possible in decisions relating to its personnel. To this end votes cast on Sunday were done so anonymously.
Following a vote count a short while later, herzog emerged victorious by a significant margin as articipants voted in favor of his suggestion of delaying the primaries by 750 to 402.
“We expected that there would be an attempt to disrupt the convention and we prepared for this...I arranged with Hilik that he would ensure that the people who tried to disrupt the meeting would be removed,” Herzog later commented.
Asked whether it was MK Sheli who had lead the disruption, Herzog replied: “I have serious issues with the conduct of Shelly on this matter which has (gone too far) and that of Erel Margalit... I will not allow a culture akin to La Familia (a soccer hooligan ring) in the Labor party. The democratic decisions are the ones which will determine the outcomes. I won’t allow them to call me a dog walking on all fours.”
“Not one person from the opposition stood to give a speech. They were frightened. Today there was an attempt not to speak but to stop a decision,” he said.
Herzog added that no elections would be held in December because the party needed first to repair itself: “I want to want to open the party up and allow anybody to run. If I held elections now the voters would say I was a dictator. We will work for a year so that we are ready for elections.”