Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich canceled a meeting scheduled for Sunday with MK
Amir Peretz due to his recent “rebellious behavior,” according to sources close
They said she would be meeting with all the other Labor
candidates one by one, but she would not meet soon with Peretz, nor would she
accept his ultimatum 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.
Peretz threatened Friday to split the
party if Yacimovich would take it into the government.
Sunday, saying that his criticism was not intended to harm
“Throughout the entire election campaign I said at every
party meeting and event that I believe there are issues that need to be
clarified ahead of the election,” Peretz said.
“The first issue is the
diplomatic issue, and the Labor Party must prepare a detailed peace plan and
present it to the public,” he said. “We also must say clearly and unequivocally
that we will not join a Netanyahu-Liberman government.
are directed at the Likud and its policies, and there is no point in turning it
into an internal conflict.”
Peretz expressed hope that Yacimovich would
meet with him soon in order to clear up the matter. He also said he hoped that
he would be able to persuade her that peace is an asset and not a burden in the
election and that “there is no reason to give up on Labor’s historic role as a
leader of the peace camp.”
Dozens of members called Peretz’s office
Sunday to complain about his behavior. He also faced criticism from all of
Labor’s leading candidates.
Yacimovich appointed MK Isaac Herzog, who won
the second slot on the Labor list, to head the party’s campaign. MK Eitan Cabel,
who is fourth on the list, will head its public relations team. Veteran MK
Binyamin Ben-Eliezer will head the party’s task force on diplomatic and security
American strategist Stanley Greenberg will advise the
A preliminary study taken by Greenberg found that the public
saw former foreign minister Tzipi Livni in an even more negative light than her
successor Avigdor Liberman.
The study found that the socioeconomic issue
was the issue the public cares about the most.
Tamara Zieve contributed
to this report.