Thursday, November 9, 2017

Labor party leader: Winning elections trumps ideology - Mati Tuchfeld

by Mati Tuchfeld

Weeks after saying peace deal will not require settlement removal, Avi Gabbay says he is willing to adjust stance to win elections • "It's nice to argue, but in the end, you have to win. If you do not win elections in Israel, you're nothing," he says.

Labor party head Avi Gabbay
Photo: Oren Ben Hakoon

Just weeks after signaling he would not support the removal of settlements under a peace deal with the Palestinians, Labor party leader Avi Gabbay said he would be willing to adjust his ideological stance to win the next election, set for November 2019.

"If I have to decide between an ideological concept and a victory in the elections, I choose to win the elections," Gabbay told the American Jewish magazine The Forward in an interview from which excerpts were released on Tuesday.

"It's nice to argue about the last issue you raised, but in the end, you have to win. If you do not win elections in Israel, you're nothing," Gabbay said. He added that the Labor party has to start "talking Jewish" if it wants to win at the polls.

"I try to illuminate more positive aspects for many Israelis who see religion and tradition as an important issue in their lives. I believe in God. These are things that this party tries not to mention," he said.

Gabbay's recent assertion that a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would not demand the dismantling of settlements in Judea and Samaria sparked a political firestorm on the Left. Gabbay later clarified that he favors the two-state solution.

Mati Tuchfeld


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