Report: Livni Considering Return to Politics

YERUSHALAYIM -
Amir Peretz. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL/Flash90)

Two parties on the center-left are enough, former Foreign Minister and Hatnua head Tzippy Livni believes – so if Labor and Ehud Barak’s new Israel Democracy party run as separate lists, she will sit out the upcoming September elections. But if those two lists join forces, Ha’aretz reported Monday, she is likely to throw her hat into the ring, possibly reviving her Hatnua and running in the elections.

Livni had been a member of Labor up until before the April elections, when then-Labor head Avi Gabay threw her out of the party. She decided not to run on a separate list, in order not to split votes on the left. With Gabay out, Amir Peretz, who is more amenable to working with Livni, is now in charge of Labor, and the report said that he has reached out to Livni in order to discuss her rejoining Labor.

She has also reportedly received an offer from Ehud Barak, but she has rejected both possibilities. The report said that the reason for the offers was not just political, but economic; Hatnua still has millions of shekels in its coffers, and both Peretz and Barak would like to get that treasure for their campaigns.

As to the possibility of a joint run between Peretz and Barak, that is considered a real long shot right now, Haaretz said. In an interview Monday, Peretz said that he has not spoken to the former prime minister for a decade. “We have a major feud between us that has extended over many years, based on the way he treated me. I brought Labor to 19 seats in the Knesset” during the period of the Second Lebanon War, after which Barak pushed him out of the leadership of Labor. If there is a unification, “there is no legitimacy for him or anyone else to demand the first slot on that list.”