ehud barak face298 88 aj.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
While former prime minister Ehud Barak has made no official announcement that he intends to run for the chairmanship of the Labor Party, sources close to Barak reported Thursday that he has been coalescing support for a campaign.
Meanwhile, Labor's current chair, Defense Minister Amir Peretz, held his first reelection rally at the Labor headquarters on Wednesday evening. Peretz entered the room to the strains of the Yoram Gaon song "They won't beat me so easily," Army Radio reported.
Existing tension between Barak and Peretz escalated in November after Peretz resisted pressure by Labor party players to appoint Barak to the cabinet post vacated by Ophir Paz-Pines.
National Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer told The Jerusalem Post at the time that he supported adding Barak to the cabinet, as the move would, in his words, " help stabilize the party and delay adding further shock to the party."
"But everything depends on there being dialogue between Barak and Amir Peretz and at this point, there is no trust between them," Ben-Eliezer continued.
When questioned about opposition to Barak within Labor's ranks, former MK and Barak's personal friend Weizman Shiri told Army Radio that Barak hadn't changed. "The new Barak is just like the old Barak," Shiri said. "The [Labor] old guard will be the first to stand by him," he added.
Shiri said he thought it was extremely likely that Barak would run for Labor chair.
Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.