JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s main left-wing alliance, the Zionist Union, has broken up in part over tension between its leaders.
Avi Gabbay, the head of the Labor Party who also led the Zionist Union, announced Tuesday during a faction meeting that he was dissolving the partnership between Labor and the HaTnua party led by Tzipi Livni.
“I still believe in cooperation, in joining forces and uniting a large camp committed to change, but successful pacts require friendship, agreement, and loyalty to the chosen path. It does not exist in this partnership,” Gabbay said
Livni was taken by surprise by the announcement. She later tweeted that “the doubts have been dispelled and we — all of those who truly believe in effecting real change in the coming elections — can focus on the important national challenge that we are facing.” Members of Gabbay’s party also were not aware that he was dissolving the union.
The parties merged in 2015 when Labor was led by Isaac Herzog.
Gabbay appointed Livni opposition leader in June. He was not able to hold the position himself since he is not a member of Knesset.
“I only got shit from her. I let her lead the opposition, and she had nothing positive to say about me,” Gabbay was quoted as saying by Hebrew-language media.
Livni’s party has six members of Knesset, including her. She was once a leader in the Likud party, later joining the centrist Kadima party upon its formation in 2005, and later heading it.