Peretz threatens to split Labor if it joins Netanyahu gov't
Before the ink was even dry on the results of Labor's primary, MK Amir Peretz announced that if Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich refused to announce in advance of the election that she would not take the party into a government led by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, he would consider splitting Labor
Peretz told Israel Radio Friday at Labor's election headquarters immediately after the results were announced that the party cannot join the government under any circumstances and if it did, a split in the party had to be considered. Several of Peretz's allies were elected to realistic slots on Labor's list, including MKs Eitan Cabel and Ghaleb Majadle and Ma'ale Gilboa Regional Council chairman Danny Atar.
Yacimovich responded to Peretz by telling Channel 2's Ulpan Shishi program Friday night that the chances of Labor joining a Netanyahu-led government were almost zero, but she refused to completely rule out such a possibility.
"I intend to win the election and topple Netanyahu," Yacimovich said. "It would be foolish to say in advance that we would not join the government and I don't intend to play into the hands of those who want me to do something so foolish."
Yacimovich and Peretz are expected to meet as early as Sunday to settle their differences. At the meeting, Yacimovich is expected to tell Peretz that she will not accept rebellions in her faction, and Peretz is expected to demand that Labor take a tougher line on diplomatic issues.