Monday, July 10, 2017

Avi Gabbay Doo!

Avi Gabbay is the new head of Israel's Labor Party, defeating former Labor head and former Defense Minister Amir Peretz in a run-off (both advanced past current Labor chief Isaac Herzog, who placed third in the initial round of voting). Gabbay is a political novice who is not currently in the Knesset, although he did formerly serve as Environmental Protection Minister.

I don't really know a lot about Gabbay's politics, so I won't say anything more there. But I did want to point out that the run-off between Gabbay and Peretz featured two Israelis of Moroccan descent. That's especially noteworthy given Labor's long history as the redoubt of the old Ashkenazi elite in Israeli society -- a feature which is not unrelated to Likud's rise to power starting in the 1970s and to political dominance since the end of Ehud Barak's tenure as Prime Minister in 2001.

So congratulations to Gabbay, and here's hoping that he can help reinvigorated a genuine liberal alternative in Israel.

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