Thursday, April 28, 2011

Israel: Venture capitalist Erel Margalit Announces His Candidacy to Lead Labor Party

SOURCE Erel Margalit

Erel Margalit
, a leading Israeli venture capitalist and a founder of the Avoda Now campaign to reinvigorate the Labor Party with thousands of new members, announced this evening that he is running for the Party's chairmanship.

"I can no longer watch from the sidelines as the political situation in Israel deteriorates. Netanyahu's government has damaged every positive aspect of the country, making it a necessity to reinvigorate the Labor Party. Thus, I am issuing a call to revolutionize the Labor Party and I aspire to lead it, and all of Israel, to a hopeful and better future."

Margalit continued, "The Labor Party under my leadership would be clear in its mission: attract new and diverse people from every part of Israel and positively impact the most pressing issues on the public agenda."

Margalit's comments were made during a speech this evening to honor the volunteers of JVP Community, a non-profit organization that Margalit founded nine years ago to improve the lives of underprivileged children and students in Jerusalem. The event was attended by hundreds of young graduates of the program and their parents.

"The Israeli public sees the current leadership of the Labor Party and contenders for the chairperson as responsible for its decline, and instead, wants a different leadership representing a new and better way. We need to restore the Labor Party to the greatness it enjoyed with legendary leaders like Ben Gurion, Golda and Rabin," Margalit declared.

Margalit is a founder and managing partner of Jerusalem Venture Partners, a leading Israel-based venture capital firm and a major investor in the Israeli technology sector. Over the last several months, he has worked with other business and community leaders to restore the Labor Party by encouraging the return of former members and recruiting new members.

A poll conducted on April 20th, 2011 by the Smith Institute, commissioned for this evening's event, included the following results:

  • 81% of former Labor Party members are dissatisfied with how the Labor Party functions.
  • 69% of former Labor Party members agreed that only a revolution can save the Labor Party. 60% of current members of the Party also agree with this statement.
  • 63% of the Party's former members agree that only a new candidate and new people can save the Labor Party. 53% of the current members share the same opinion.
  • 41% of the current members of the Labor Party and 32% of past members noted that if a new and realistic candidate entered the primaries, chances were high to very high that they would vote for that candidate.
  • 35% of the former members of the Labor Party said there was a high to very high likelihood that the above development would result in their return to the Party.