Amram Mitzna 311.
(photo credit: Ron Friedman)
The Labor Party spokesoffice on Thursday called on party MK Eitan Cabel to resign because of the remarks he made about the party's poor leadership record in the last decade and the comments he made deriding a prospective candidacy by former party leader Amram Mitzna for the party's top post, Army Radio reported.
Cabel needs to return his Knesset mandate that he received from the party faction immediately and end his membership in the party, the Labor Party spokesoffice said in a written statement.
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Cabel's earlier comments came during an interview with Army Radio when he said, “We have switched leaders so many times and it has never worked, so it doesn’t matter who leads this crazy party anymore.” He added, “I would tell Mitzna: You were already burned once in that job, and next time, the fire can hurt even more.”
Defense Minister and Party chairman Ehud Barak was said to have asked Mitzna to run as contender for Labor's top slot, according to Army Radio. However, Barak confident Weitzman Shiri refused to confirm or deny the rumors to Army Radio.
Sources close to Ben-Eliezer confirmed Wednesday night
that the minister had in fact invited Mitzna to run for the position.
“He is the only one who can save the party,” Ben-Eliezer reportedly said about Mitzna.
Ben-Eliezer made the offer after seeing polls that revealed the unpopularity in the general public of the three current candidates for Labor leader: Incumbent Ehud Barak and challengers Isaac Herzog and Avishay Braverman.
A New Wave poll broadcast on Wednesday night found that among the
general public, 19 percent preferred Mitzna, 18% MK Shelly Yacimovich,
14% Barak, 12% Herzog and 8% Braverman. The rest declined to answer or
had no opinion.
Among Labor voters, Barak received the most support at 25%, followed by
Yacimovich with 24%, Mitzna at 16%, Braverman at 13%, and Herzog with
12%. Ben-Eliezer’s associates said he had noticed that Herzog and
Braverman were at the bottom of both lists.
Mitzna led Labor from 2002- 2003 after defeating the incumbent
Ben-Eliezer in a highly charged race in which Ben-Eliezer often referred
to the left-leaning Mitzna as “Yossi Beilin with a beard.”