Avi Gabbay speaks to supporters following his victory in Tel Aviv, Israel, Monday, July 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
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Israel's main opposition Labor Party has taken a risk in electing as its new leader an ex-businessman who only joined months ago, hoping a fresh approach can topple Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.Avi Gabbay, a 50-year-old former head of one of Israel's largest telecommunications companies, is far from the typical leader of the party that once dominated the country's politics but which has waned in influence in recent years.He grew up in occupied Jerusalem in a working class family that had emigrated from Morocco and has a reputation of having pulled himself up by his own bootstraps to succeed.He has never been a member of Israel's Knesset, and only joined Labor in December before mounting what was once seen as a long-shot bid to become its leader.Labor has been viewed as a party of elites run by the Ashkenazi – Jews of European origin traditionally seen as the establishment in Israel.
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