Peretz: A Putsch in Broad Daylight

israel labor
Amir Peretz, leader of the Labor party, at an opening event for the new election headquarters in Tel Aviv, Wednesday. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Newly installed Labor chairman Amir Peretz’s decision to close the door to an alliance with other left-wing parties continued to generate dissension in the party.

Senior MK Itzik Shmuli went public on Wednesday with his dissatisfaction over the course of events.

“A broad alliance is the need of the hour,” tweeted Shmuli. “I tried to advance it in the past few days, actively and quietly, not in the headlines, rather facing the party leaders and other sources, and if it’s desired — it can still be achieved.

“A camp that is shattered into splintered parties is taking a dangerous, unnecessary gamble with its chances to grow and win, and also with the future of the party,” he continued. “It is irresponsible to accept the situation, which should be actively changed,” he said, referring to Peretz abrupt ditching of Meretz, with whom a joint electoral agreement had almost been reached, and instead enlisting Orly Levy-Abekesis’ Gesher, a centrist social-justice party created earlier this year by the former Yisrael Beytenu MK.

Shmuli’s open break with Peretz came after Labor MK Stav Shaffir protested the decision to jettison Meretz, and her suggesting she might even leave the party because of it.

At a campaign launch in Tel Aviv Wednesday, Peretz was overheard discussing their protests, and telling an aide: “They have no shame. It’s a putsch in broad daylight,” according to the Times of Israel.

Meanwhile, Ehud Barak was reportedly in negotiations with Meretz for a joint election run.

Channel 12 said Wednesday that Barak said he was willing to be placed 10th on the combined party list, providing he would have first to pick of a ministerial portfolio if the party enters a governing coalition.

However, MK Meir Cohen (Blue and White) predicted that nothing will come of the talks:

“I do not think Barak will run in the end, he does not pass the threshold in polls, you can not jump on the wagon at the last minute, after only a few months ago he said he would not return to politics,” Cohen said on Army Radio.

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