Under Herzog, Too, Number of Labor Party Members Tumbles

The party had planned a membership drive over the summer but had to forgo it because of the Gaza war.

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Labor Party chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich and her challenger, Isaac Herzog.
Labor Party chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich and her challenger, Isaac Herzog.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

The number of registered Labor Party members has dropped to 48,000 from 58,000 since Isaac Herzog took over as chairman a year ago, despite his pledge to bring in tens of thousands of new people.

The party notes, however, that membership forms for some 2,000 applicants have not yet been entered into its database. Still, party sources predict that its rolls will drop another 10 percent to 20 percent when Labor starts collecting membership fees for 2015.

The decline is actually a long-term trend. During Shelly Yacimovich’s tenure as chairwoman from September 2011 to November 2013, the number of members fell to 58,000 from 66,000.

On the eve of the last election for chairman, Herzog criticized Yacimovich for not increasing party membership. But Herzog is having similar problems, even though he announced plans to double if not triple membership. The party, which leads the opposition in the Knesset, had planned a membership drive over the summer but had to forgo it because of the Gaza war.

“The party chairman has passed a series of decisions to ease party registration, including reduced dues for retirees and students,” the party said in a statement.

“These decisions went into effect immediately after Operation Protective Edge, and we are now calling on the public that is sick of this government, which has paralyzed Israel both economically and diplomatically, to join the Labor Party.”

In recent months, Labor has considered ways to portray itself as a potential ruling party. But according to recent polls, Herzog has failed to close the popularity gap with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and if an election were held today, the party would drop to 12 from 15 seats in the 120-seat Knesset.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN


Palestinians search through the rubble of a building in which Khaled Mansour, a top Islamic Jihad militant was killed following an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza strip, on Sunday.

Gazans Are Tired of Pointless Wars and Destruction, and Hamas Listens to Them

Trump and Netanyahu at the White House in Washington, in 2020.

Three Years Later, Israelis Find Out What Trump Really Thought of Netanyahu

German soldier.

The Rival Jewish Spies Who Almost Changed the Course of WWII

Rio. Not all Jewish men wear black hats.

What Does a Jew Look Like? The Brits Don't Seem to Know

Galon. “I’m coming to accomplish a specific mission: to increase Meretz’s strength and ensure that the party will not tread water around the electoral threshold. If Meretz will be large enough, it will be the basis for a Jewish-Arab partnership.” Daniel Tchetchik

'I Have No Illusions About Ending the Occupation, but the Government Needs the Left'

Soldiers using warfare devices made by the Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems.

Russia-Ukraine War Catapults Israeli Arms Industry to Global Stage