Barak slams timing of gov’t pullout demands

Labor chairman responds to rival parties who are forcing him to hold a convention to discuss exiting PM's coalition.

December 15, 2010 04:54
1 minute read.
Ehud Barak

barak thumbs up 311. (photo credit: GPO)

Labor chairman Ehud Barak responded in Washington on Monday night to the challenges of his party rivals, who are forcing him to hold a convention to discuss pulling out of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s coalition and advancing the party’s leadership race.

Minority Affairs Minister Avishay Braverman submitted a proposal last Tuesday calling for beginning the process of removing Labor from the coalition if the diplomatic process were not expedited. Welfare and Social Services Minister Isaac Herzog submitted his own proposal on Sunday, which calls for moving up the Labor leadership primary from October 2012 to June 2011.

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“I am not sure it is the smartest thing in the world that while I am here in Washington meeting with top American officials and fighting for the things for which we are in the government, to raise questions about our remaining in the government,” Barak told reporters in Washington. “They could have waited 72 hours without hurting the enthusiasm of the proposers.”

Sources close to Herzog said he had been quoted in the press before Barak left saying that he intended to submit his proposal immediately after Hanukka. They expressed hope that Barak’s efforts in Washington to revive the peace process would bear fruit.

Braverman’s associates questioned Barak’s memory, noting that he had submitted his proposal before the Labor chairman left the country and presented it at a meeting of the party’s executive committee at which Barak was the featured speaker.

“We are amazed by Barak’s inability to know and understand what is taking place in his own party,” a source close to Braverman said.

Labor rebel MK Daniel Ben-Simon announced on Tuesday that he would host an event at the Knesset on December 21 on “the price of a diplomatic stalemate.”

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