JNF Chairman Accused of Aiding Workplace Electioneering by Staff

Danny Atar reportedly requested that staff make campaign calls for the candidate he supports to 2,200 members of the Labor Party central committee at the JNF’s expense.

JNF chairman Danny Atar.
Emil Salman

Jewish National Fund chairman Danny Atar has been encouraging employees to engage in political activity during work hours on behalf of a candidate in an internal Labor Party election, Labor Party sources allege.

The JNF denied the allegations.

Atar, who is considered an enthusiastic Labor activist, has been actively campaigning on behalf of Eran Hermoni, who is running for party secretary general. The election for secretary general will be held on January 19.

Other candidates for the post include MK Michal Biran, and MK Shelly Yacimovich’s former bureau head, Yaya Fink. Hermoni also has the support of MK Eitan Cabel. Under party regulations, the secretary general also becomes a Knesset member on behalf of the party.

Atar allegedly brought party activists to the JNF during work hours to campaign for Hermoni.

Atar also reportedly requested that staff make campaign calls for Hermoni to 2,200 members of the Labor Party central committee at the JNF’s expense. Atar’s senior advisers at the JNF also have made a significant number of public Facebook posts expressing support for their boss’ candidate. One such post by Lynn Dror, who worked in Atar’s bureau while he was a Knesset member and followed him to the JNF, stated, “Eran Hermoni must be the next Labor secretary general because he’s one of us.”

Cabel, when asked whether he knew about JNF employees being used to campaign for Hermoni, stated, “I wouldn’t do it.”

The JNF said in response: “The JNF chairman never instructed any employees in his bureau to carry out political activity at the expense of work hours. Employees were told to maintain a complete separation between work and any form of political activity, and that any political activity must be carried out outside of work hours."