Labor MKs try to defy forecast for party’s disintegration

By REBECCA ANNA STOIL
January 30, 2011 04:23

Braverman: “We need to prove that we can work together. If we can do it, the public will come back, and we can become a movement again."

2 minute read.



Labor MK Avishai Braverman.

311_Avishai Braverman. (photo credit: Associated Press)

After skeptics predicted that the remaining Labor Party MKs would split into numerous tiny factions, the eight MKs were expected to meet Sunday to try and reach a working agreement regarding the troubled party’s future.

Although the meeting was set to discuss technical issues, concerns still ran high regarding the party’s ability to maintain unity in its new seats in the opposition.

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During the meeting, the MKs were set to meet with Labor Secretary-General Hilik Bar and the new acting chairman Micha Harish to discuss technical issues including party primaries and institutions.

Harish and Bar met on Thursday for almost three hours, discussing the party’s financial and organizational status. They also considered the options for convening the party’s constituent bodies, and of holding a new voter registration drive to help renew the movement’s ranks.

But underlying the technical issues on agenda for Sunday was continued concern by party members regarding the stability of the remains of the once-powerful party.

“I am going to bring one message with me to the meeting,” said MK Avishay Braverman. “Four days ago, I was in the Carmel market, and the vendors there said to me that we need to hold the party together in order to return stronger in the next elections. That night, I was in Jericho, and a Palestinian official told me that if Labor works together ‘we will be a great part again. The next day, I was in a television station doing an interview, and one of the people who worked there pulled me aside and said more or less the same thing.” Braverman said that Labor’s fractious MKs must pull together and remain unified in the coming six to nine-month period until internal elections are held.

“We need to prove that we can work together. If we can do it in the next six to nine months, the public will come back, and we can become a movement again, not a small left-wing party or a piece swallowed up within Kadima.”

Braverman said that most of his fellow Labor MKs with whom he has spoken in recent days have said that they agree to an internal cease-fire to allow the party to regain stability. “We must work now as a unified opposition, and if we want to go back to function as a movement, we must end personal tensions despite the fact that it is clear that a large portion of us - including myself - will run to lead the party when primaries are held.”


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