Israel’s opposition Labour party has postponed its July primaries by one day to avoid clashing with a Tel Aviv concert by US singer Britney Spears, a senior lawmaker said Wednesday.
Former party leader and defence minister Amir Peretz said the Labour leadership fight had been scheduled for July 3 but had been pushed back to avoid clashing with the Britney show on the same date in Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park.
The Haaretz newspaper cited an unidentified senior Labour official as saying there was a shortage of stewards and security guards available for hire on July 3 as many had signed up to work at the concert.
It said that the election night count and several polling booths were likely to be sited at the Tel Aviv exhibition grounds, adjacent to the Britney Spears performance venue.
Peretz, a likely contender to challenge Labour leader Isaac Herzog, said holding the election on the same day would present logistical problems, with gridlock expected on key Tel Aviv roads leading to the venue.
‘We put it back one day to July 4,’ he told army radio. ‘They said there were likely to be traffic jams.’
He added that the new date had symbolism for a democratic party.
‘American independence day has a lot of messages we can take on board,’ he said. ‘The 4th July suits us very well.’
The party’s official website confirmed the July 4 date but offered no explanation for the change.
Israeli media played heavily on the contrasting attractions of the restrained and proper Herzog, widely known by the nickname Buji, and the glamorous singer.
Channel Two television tweeted ‘Hit me Buji One More Time’ in a takeoff of one of her hit song titles and showed side-by-side photos of the Labour leader in buttoned up suit and tie and Spears in a black dress slashed to the midriff.
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