Ben Eliezer 311.
(photo credit: Assaf Shila/Israel Sun)
A feud between Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Industry, Trade, and
Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer escalated to harsh tones at Labor’s
meeting on Sunday when Ben-Eliezer threatened to “skewer” Barak’s
Ben-Eliezer was upset that after he had told Barak in advance
about his meeting last week with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet
the defense minister wished him good luck, Barak’s spokesman Barak Seri
reporters that his boss opposed the meeting.
Ben-Eliezer: Barak leaked information
'Ben-Eliezer secretly met Turkish FM'
Ben-Eliezer also suspects
that Barak leaked the news of the meeting to Channel 2, a charge Barak and Seri
When Ben-Eliezer asked Seri at the meeting whether he
told reporters that Barak opposed the meeting, Seri replied affirmatively and
said the defense minister thought the meeting played into the hands of the
Ben-Eliezer responded angrily.
“I will never forget this,”
he told Seri. “You can’t do such things to me. You don’t know who you are
dealing with. I am Iraqi. I will skewer you.”Ben-Eliezer's associates said his anger was intended for Barak
Seri responded defiantly:
“You are the last one who would scare me. Tone down. I don’t work for
Ben-Eliezer’s associates said after the fight that his anger was
really intended for Barak even if it only came out publicly at his
and Ben-Eliezer have also had recent phone conversations in which they
Relations between the two men, which were close for
years, have deteriorated in recent weeks.
The feud between Barak and
Ben-Eliezer surfaced recently when Barak named Ministerwithout-
Meridor to replace him when he was abroad rather than Ben-Eliezer, and
Ben-Eliezer said he would support Histadrut Labor Federation leader Ofer
for the Labor leadership in the next party primary.
with Eini has also deteriorated, and even Barak’s closest political
Agriculture Minister Shalom Simhon, did not speak to him for several
because Barak opposed Simhon’s decision to seek the chairmanship of the
Kayemet L’Israel/Jewish National Fund from outside the ranks of
The Labor Party leader has also been fighting for a year with
Welfare and Social Services Minister Isaac Herzog, who was once a close
never got along with Minorities Affairs Minister Avishay Braverman, and
Herzog and Braverman intend to run against him for Labor leader, so
currently has poor relations with every Labor minister.
Barak also faces
opposition in Labor from MK Shelly Yacimovich and rebel MKs Amir Peretz,
Cabel, Daniel Ben- Simon, and Ghaleb Majadle.
The only Labor legislators
he currently gets along with are deputy ministers Matan Vilna’i and Orit
and new MK Einat Wilf, who recently criticized him on Sky News.
director-general Weizmann Shiri, a longtime friend of Barak, downplayed
fights with the faction and said the disputes with Ben-Eliezer and
exaggerated and temporary.
“Simhon and Ben-Eliezer are still close with
Barak, and everything in the end will be OK,” Shiri said.