Peretz Closes Door to Democratic Camp

YERUSHALAYIM -
Labor party leader Amir. (Peretz. Flash90)

Efforts to change Labor leader Amir Peretz’s mind about not merging with the new Democratic Camp alliance have come to nought, The Times of Israel said on Tuesday, citing sources in the party.

Peretz is “set on running alone, as Labor, and not as part of [Ehud] Barak’s left-wing bloc,” one party source said, discounting recent reports that Peretz has been in contact with the Democratic Camp. “He’s made up his mind about it,” he said.

The Labor chairman was said to be undeterred by the defection of senior MK Stav Shaffir and grumbling from others over his decision to merge with Orly Levy-Abekasis’s centrist Gesher party rather than the leftist triumvirate of Barak-Meretz-Shaffir.

“We might have fewer seats than we’ve ever had, but we have just as many opinions. Of course, people disagree; there are always going to be disagreements. But it’s not something that is going to stop Peretz from making his own decision,” the source said.

Meanwhile, Barak on Tuesday called for a broad union of the center-left ahead of the August 1 deadline for submitting electoral lists to the Central Elections Committee.

In a video posted to Twitter, and directed at Peretz and the leaders of the centrist Blue and White party, Barak declared that while “history is within reach, so is missing [the opportunity].”

“Only a large union will ensure victory,” Barak said, adding that the Democratic Camp is “ready for any unification.”