Weekly Election Update: Labor Debate Diary Edition

Normal people didn’t watch the Labor leadership debate, instead opting to view the two minutes of highlights. I am not normal. If you want to watch here’s a link.

Cast of Characters:

The Front Runners:

Incumbent Isaac “40 degree day” Herzog, Former Labor Head Amir “Remember Me?” Peretz, Former Minister in the Current Government Avi “Trojan Horse” Gabai

The Others:

MK Erel “Erel Margalit” Margalit, MK Omer “I’m here too” Bar-Lev, and Mr. Security Amiram Levin

0:55: We have a roof party in conjunction with the debate! American elections need to incorporate this immediately. On the other hand, that applause was nothing less than depressing. It’s hard being a Labor activist right now.

1:09: No one’s there! O no. This roof party has taken a depressing turn. I’m sure it’s not an omen.

1:34: Guy in the back on the left just realized that he can’t pick his nose for the whole night.

2:15: Amiram Levin! You sure are someone.

3:23: Avi Gabai forgot to mention Kulanu when he was talking about all the places that he had succeeded. Is there any other country where people hop around between parties and ideological camps more than Israel? It’s either due to the conflict or the lack of protestant shame that is so important to western politics.

4:28: Theyre not saying Booooooooooogie. Herzog emphasizes that Labor can’t win an election and that they need other parties to join them. Sad…but realistic.

5:30: Former head of Labor, Amir Peretz, looks a bit nervous.

6:42: Erel the millionaire is reviewing his CV and emphasizing how poor he was. He also insists that there must be international leadership to solve the country’s problems.

7:56: The skeleton known as Omer Bar-Lev is asking that Labor return to being Zionist visionaries and national leaders. I’m asking his makeup person to return to work. Zing!

9:13: Guy in the back on the left just realized he has to listen to these six winners the whole night.

9:10: Herzog got challenged as to the fact that the polls are showing that no one likes Labor. He responded that in his merit the party doubled its seats from the last elections because of Tzipi Livni. Nailed it. Tzipi Livni’s name will go on to be mentioned more tonight than Yair Lapid for some reason.

10:44: Amir Peretz, the race’s current leader, was asked about his failures to lead the Labor party in the past and he’s answering that he was a giant success. Some would ask why the Labor electorate replaced this giant success after a year and a half. He’s claiming he can move 7 mandates from the Likud to Labor. He then makes an interesting argument that there is no physical periphery, just a social periphery.

13:42: Erel Margalit just compared the Labor party to the Titanic…so far that’s the most truthful thing that has been said.

14:18: Avi Gabai points out that he was not a failure in Kulanu because with no political experience, he became a minister. +1 for Avi Gabai -5 for the state of Israel.

15:30: Gabai commits to staying in Labor if he loses.

15:42: Brutal Question to Omer Bar-Lev. You’ve been a MK for 5 years and haven’t stood out. Why are you here?

16:48: Bar-Lev gives the Lapid defense. I did a ton! Just the government rejected all of it! Doesn’t that just mean that you’re bad at politics? I see Zehava Galon pass laws all the time.

17:18: I’m gonna name guy in the back on the left Craig. Craig just thought of a funny joke. I wonder what it was?

17:20: Paraphrased questions: “Amiram Levin, aren’t you super old?”

19:19: Things that would never happen in an American political debate: A Bibi impersonator does a skit and asks a question while accusing Bibi of corruption. This is all aired by a news organization. Of course, if this means more Alec Baldwin at presidential debates, I’m in.

20:07: Craig enjoyed the comedy portion of the evening.

20:05: The question asked by the impersonator, how will you beat Bibi?

20:30: Bar-Lev- I have a security background.

21:25: Margalit – I won’t join him and will create a large leftist camp and I meet international leaders. I’ll make peace. Margalit is constantly harping on international leadership.

22:10 Margalit busts out some impressive English “If you want a deal Mr. President, then you got a deal because it is time to make a deal”…Churchill-esque.

22:30: Amir Peretz – how will I beat Bibi? I already did in 2006. Mic. Dropped. Also I will convince people that the Likud abandoned them.

23:01: Peretz is the first to drop Rabin’s name and looks down at his notes before he did so. +1 to his advisors.

23:45: Herzog – I believe in Labor. I built it and now I must get other people to help us. I’ll bring in Moshe Kahlon, Moshe Ya’alon Orly Levy, Ehud Barak, Gabi Ashkenazi, Benny Gantz and others who have been rejected by the Israeli electorate. Herzog is dedicated to bringing Labor more to the center, but I think the problem has more to do with a lack of vision at the top. Also, in a race where Avi Gabai is getting crushed for having been part of the government, Herzog just named two  former members of coalition parties, one current member and two former members of the Likud. Maybe if Labor replaces their MKs with Likud MKs they would have a shot. It’s a devious plan.

24:52: Avi Gabai – We don’t need to beat Netanyahu we need to replace him…huh? I’ll Bring 6 mandates from right to left. Well earlier Peretz claimed that he’d get 7, so I’m going with him. Question though. If Yesh Atid takes 12 of your current seats, why will those 7 seats matter? How is it that no one has viciously attacked Lapid yet? That’s the real competition.

26:06: Amiram Levin – We need to look to…Rabin!!! +1 to Levin’s advisors. What did Rabin do? He didn’t leave the party. We also must unite and return to the periphery, farmers, druze, Arabs…and settlers! He claims the West Bank for the Labor party and drops that he was Bibi’s commander. Gutsy.

27:40: Now for the confrontational part of the evening.

28:00: Peretz on being attacked by Margalit I’d rather be the leader and be attacked, then to be a loser like Erel over here.

28:55: Margalit doesn’t back down. Fires away at the corruption within his party. Interesting Bernie-esque strategy. Margalit would be a fascinating choice to run Meretz.

30:15: Margalit starts yelling at Gabai that he was on the ministerial committee that approved right wing laws. Gabai pulls out the protocols from his podium from the meeting to show he wasn’t there. Solid preparation. He also points out that Labor was trying to join Bibi’s government so no one should criticize him +1 Gabai.

31:25: Herzog – I welcome Avi Gabai to the party, but he is warping the minds of our children and weakening the resolve of our allies.

32:15: Herzog crushes Amiram Levin for not understanding politics enough and then gets fired up about the extreme leftists who are ruining THIS DAMN PARTY. DON’T TALK TO ME ABOUT BASEL GHATTAS! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I AM BOOOOOOOGIIIIEEEEEEE!!!! Welcome back to life Mr. Herzog. I haven’t seen him this fired up since the last time he pretended that he could still feel emotions.

33:05: Boogie is confused if Labor is a centrist party or a left party. And therein lies the problem.

33:25: Peretz: Likud voters are not the problem they’re the solution.

36:40: Bar-Lev claims that Likud voters tell him that if he were running Labor they’d vote for him. Others tell him that they’d vote for him if he weren’t in Labor. He sure has a lot of support from people not voting in this election. How’d that work out for Hillary?

37:40 See Erel run away from a previous statement supporting cell phones for security prisoners.

37:58: Why is Craig’s pinky so far away from his ring finger?

39:28: Craig and lady next to Craig just saw a hilarious photo on Whatsapp

39:45: Peretz pretends to regret leaving Labor for another party after finishing in third place in the last primary in which he ran (a year and a half after being elected to the leadership of the party).

42:00 Margalit keeps on talking about international leadership. I think he thinks he’s running for a different job than he is. Attacks Lapid (how is he the first?).

42:50 Gabai does not like Margalit.

44:19 Margalit flips through papers to find damning quote for Gabai.

44:40 Margalit and Gabai yell over each other about who is more of a true leftist (it is pretty certainly not Gabai).

45:00 Gabai announces he has better English than Margalit who accused him of not understanding an English Facebook post.

45:15: Gabai “I don’t need to respond to Margalit”

45:20: Margalit “Avi, Avi, Avi, Avi, Avi, Avi…”. It sounds like my wife when I’m on one of my epic and highly entertaining truth rants.

46:00 Craig and his lady friend are having a great time, but third dude just looks like he saw the future and things are not good for Labor.

46:15: Humiliating question to the candidates. Do you guys think we should get Ehud Barak in here? Cus man this is embarrassing.

50:20: Herzog once again celebrating going from 12 to 24 mandates seemingly forgetting that he’s back at 12 and was supposed to get more than 24.

51:40: Avi Gabai, who just the other day was in Kulanu, calls for Ehud Barak to return to Labor.

53:35: Levin points out the very damning fact that most of the people who are up here are the reasons why people ran away from Labor.

59:00 Everyone likes Tzipi Livni and admires her…another Likudnik they’re desperately trying to get acceptance from. I really don’t understand it. Livni can’t command more than 5 mandates and can’t join a Netanyahu government. Why is she so sought after?

1:01:15: Margalit kills Avi Gabai’s Labor career in one question. Did you vote Likud? Gabai answers no and then Margalit pulls out his phone and shows him that he had said that he did…Later Gabai would claim that he voted Sharon and during the debate he attached Sharon to Kadima in his head. His face afterwards looked like death. Craig was stoked. Even the third guy was excitedly typing. Question, why did Bar-Lev and Margalit ask Gabai a question and not one of the leaders.

1:06:15: In a hilarious “slip”, Peretz calls Herzog the former head of the party.

1:07:00: Everyone starts attacking Herzog for wanting to bring in ardent right winger Moshe Yaalon.

1:11:09: Levin: No one asked me a question because they know that I have all the answers and cannot be embarrassed.

1:13:10: They are trying very hard to sell the roof party, but it’s pretty clear that there aren’t more than 30 people there. -1 Labor party.

1:13:20: There will be no signs at our roof party!!!!

1:13:49: Craig and lady friend are really enjoying the fight over the sign.


And there you have it. No one really distinguished themselves, but only Avi Gabai embarrassed himself. I imagine that this debate was good for Lapid, who saw Herzog essentially arguing Lapid’s position, but in a far less charismatic way.

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