Labor Leader Herzog Slams Party Rivals for 'Deal' to Unseat Him

In leaked recording, MK Eitan Cabel is heard describing an agreement he said he reached with MK Shelly Yacimovich.

Labor Party chief Isaac Herzog, 2016.
Moti Milrod

Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog said on Friday that a deal reportedly struck between two of his rivals to unseat him as Labor leader is "invalid and unacceptable."

On Thursday, Channels 2 and 10 aired a leaked taped recorded about a month ago in which MK Eitan Cabel describes an agreement he said he had reached with MK Shelly Yacimovich. As per the so-called deal, Yacimovich would support Cabel's bid to lead Labor in exchange for his help in her bid for the leadership of Israel's main union - the Histadrut labor federation. 

In the recording, Cabel explained to fellow Labor members that he wouldn't support Herzog because "he can't help me he has no power within the party. He isn't cruel. He's a fraudster, a cheater of small-time thieves."

Herzog told Channel 2 on Friday that he "couldn't believe my ears."

"Eitan Cabel has been a close friend for many years this is a big offense from my point of view,” Herzog said. He urged Cabel and Yacimovich to “draw conclusions.” 

Yacimovich denied there was any such deal, telling Channel 2 on Friday, “there was no such thing, neither by hint nor the wink of an eye.”

Yacimovich, whom Herzog unseated in a primary contest before a 2015 national election, announced last month she would seek the party nomination to run for Histadrut labor union chief.