Barak: Public won’t forgive Peretz, Meretz

Intel VP rejects Gesher's second slot.

July 22, 2019 22:07
2 minute read.
Ehud Barak

Ehud Barak. (photo credit: RONEN ZVULUN/ REURERS)

Former prime minister Ehud Barak warned the leaders of Labor and Meretz on Monday that they would be held accountable for rejecting a political deal with him.

Labor leader Amir Peretz decided to make a deal with Gesher leader Orly Levy-Abecassis instead of Meretz and Ehud Barak’s Israel Democratic Party. Meretz has ruled out a merger with Barak, even after Barak agreed that Meretz leader Nitzan Horowitz would head the list.

“It is not too late,” Barak said in a Facebook Live chat. “The people of Israel will not forgive whoever prevented a merger on the Left.”

One possibility raised by Barak’s associates was that Labor MK Stav Shaffir could break off from her party and head a list of Meretz and Barak’s party. But Meretz responded that while Shaffir and other current and former Labor MKs were welcome in Meretz, they did not need to bring Barak with them.

“Stav was elected by the public and is wanted by the public, but why would we want people the public does not want?” a Meretz official asked. “Stav and [MK Itzik] Shmueli should come. Why should they pay a price for Barak’s ego?”

Shaffir said Monday that she loves her current party and even though she believes more political bonds on the Left are essential, she will not leave Labor.

Peretz called on Barak to quit the race on Monday, telling Channel 12: “Barak thought he would get support. It didn’t happen. He needs to reconsider his path so there will be a chance to replace Bibi [Netanyahu].”

Negotiations have been taking place between Peretz and two former senior security officials. Peretz wants to announce that one of them is joining the Labor-Gesher list by the end of the week.

Levy-Abecassis has not revealed her candidates yet for the seventh and 10th slots on the list. Former Intel executive vice president Dadi Perlmutter, who was second on the Gesher list in April, told The Jerusalem Post exclusively on Monday that he will not run in September.

Perlmutter worked at Intel for more than 30 years, culminating in the second-highest post in the entire company. He then invested in Mellanox, the Israeli microchip maker acquired by American technology giant Nvidia for $6.9 billion in March.

“I decided to concentrate over the next few years on civic initiatives outside of politics, and this election was no reason to change my mind,” he said.

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