After Cold Shoulder From Mayor, MK, Former General Takes Top Spot on Labor's Ticket

Maj. Gen. (res.) Tal Russo will be slated number 2 on the party's roster ■ Yisrael Beiteinu unveils Knesset slate

File photo: Maj. Gen. Tal Russo speaks to members of the media in Be'er Sheva, Israel, November 17, 2012.
File photo: Maj. Gen. Tal Russo speaks to members of the media in Be'er Sheva, Israel, November 17, 2012.Credit: Ilan Assayag

Israel's Labor Party announced on Tuesday that Maj. Gen. (res.) Tal Russo will be joining its ranks and be placed in the second spot on the roster for the upcoming election, a slot reserved for a candidate of party chairman Avi Gabbay’s choosing.

Russo served as commander of the Israel Defense Forces Depth Corps, which oversees special, long range operations, and head of the IDF’s Operations Directorate. He is expected to officially present his candidacy on Wednesday at a joint press conference with Gabbay.

>> The Kahanists and the homophobes: The two parties no one wants but Netanyahu needsA champion of alliances in Israeli politics, Tzipi Livni rejected at finish line | Analysis

Haaretz reported on Monday that Be'er Sheva Mayor Ruvik Danilovich turned down Gabbay’s offer of the second slot. "In the three last election campaigns I received offers from various parties," Danilovich said. "I thanked them politely then, and this time too, to everyone who asks, I see my public mission in the Negev as a national mission."

Haaretz Weekly Episode 16Credit: Haaretz

MK Haim Jelin, who resigned from Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid party on Thursday, declined Gabbay’s offer of the 10th slot on Labor’s roster. Jelin said he felt uncomfortable moving from one party to another within such a short time.

The Labor party said it would not discuss the issue of reserved slots on its roster. Gabbay reportedly wants to vary the current list with figures who represent worldviews or values that do not manifest themselves in the list as it stands now. He is reportedly looking into bringing now-defunct Hatnuah MK Yael Cohen Paran, leading environmental activist and co-chairwoman of the Green Movement, into Labor.

Meanwhile, Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu unveiled its Knesset slate for the upcoming election on Tuesday. The second-place slot, following Lieberman, will go to MK Oded Forer. He will be followed by journalist Evgeny Sova, businessman Eli Avidar and former MK Yulia Malinovsky.

The rest of the top ten, in order, will consist of Deputy Knesset Speaker Hamad Amar, former Immigrant Absorption Ministry director general Alex Kushner, Sderot Deputy Mayor Mark Ifraimov, jurist Limor Magen-Telem and Dr. Elina Bardach-Yalov.

At a party event in the southern city of Ashkelon, Lieberman commented on the party’s poor showing in the polls, where it is averaging four to five Knesset seats. "This is psychological warfare, manipulation," he said. "We aren’t paying attention to the polls, we’re out working in the field … With the help of hard work by all those present in this hall, we can even reach a double-digit number."

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN


United Arab List chairman Mansour Abbas in the Knesset on Monday.

Arab Voters Will Decide if Israel's Far-right Wins Power

נתניהו עם כיפה שחורה על הראש נשען בשתי ידיו על הכותל

Israel Is Heading for Its Most 'Jewish' Election Ever

An El Al jet sits on the tarmac at John C. Munro International Airport in Hamilton, Thursday, in 2003.

El Al to Stop Flying to Toronto, Warsaw and Brussels

FILE PHOTO: A Star of David hangs from a fence outside the dormant landmark Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood in 2021.

American Judaism Is in Decline. That's Great News for American Jews

Crowds at Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport, in April.

U.S. Official: West Bank Entry for Palestinian Americans Unrelated to Israeli Visa Waivers

Haaretz spoke with several people who said they had fled Ukraine, arrived in Israel,  and were asked to undergo DNA tests in order to establish paternity.

'My Jewish Grandmother Has a Number on Her Arm, Why Does Israel Greet Me This Way?'