(photo credit: LAHAV HARKOV)
Newly crowned Labor chairman Shelly Yacimovich and her political patron turned arch rival, MK Amir Peretz, met for an hour and a half in Tel Aviv on Tuesday in an effort to settle their differences and begin working together.
It was the first one-on-one meeting between Yacimovich and Peretz since 2006 when she was angered by Peretz’s decision to accept the Defense portfolio in former prime minister Ehud Olmert’s government.
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Relations between the two deteriorated further when she endorsed Peretz’s nemesis Ehud Barak in the 2007 Labor leadership race, and she became closer to Peretz’s successor as Histadrut chief Ofer Eini, with whom he has a fierce rivalry.
Both Yacimovich’s and Peretz’s associates said the meeting went well.
The two will meet again soon to start working on plans to run the party together.
Yacimovich told Peretz in the meeting that his skills were needed for the party to successfully face the challenges that lie ahead. They discussed diplomatic, socioeconomic, political and personal issues.
“A positive atmosphere is in the process of being created,” a source close to Peretz said. “There is no new love story being written, but the party has a new leader, and it won’t be easy for her to run the party without Amir, so there will at least be unexcited cooperation between the two of them.”
A week after Avishay Braverman and Daniel Ben-Simon were the only Labor MKs to attend Yacimovich’s victory party, all eight Labor MKs attended a pre-Rosh Hashana toast she hosted Tuesday at the party’s headquarters at Beit Berl Teachers College in Kfar Saba.