Mitzna slams Lapid, questioning his knowledge of politics

Doesn’t rule out returning to Labor, though he’s concerned with party’s direction.

February 28, 2011 04:43
2 minute read.

Amram Mitzna 311. (photo credit: Ron Friedman)


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In a potential showdown between leaders of left-wing parties that could run in the next election, former Labor chairman Amram Mitzna attacked journalist Yair Lapid over the weekend.

Mitzna confirmed quotes against Lapid and former IDF chief of General Staff Lt.- Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi that were reported in the Jerusalem weekly Zman Yerushalayim. Ashkenazi, unlike Lapid, is subject to a cooling-off period, so he cannot run in the next election.

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“The public is so looking for something different that they are willing to go after people who they don’t really know,” Mitzna said.

“They don’t know what their political views are and they haven’t heard them. This is true of Gabi Ashkenazi and Yair Lapid. Does anyone know [Lapid’s] views? Does anyone even know if he has ever managed three people? Does he know anything about politics?”

Lapid, who could not be reached for comment, is said to be working behind the scenes to form a party with a focus on education. Unlike his father, the late secularist Shinui leader Yosef Lapid, Yair Lapid reportedly intends to include Orthodox candidates on his list, such as Rabbi Shai Piron and former general Elazar Stern.

Mitzna said he was not interested in running on a party slate headed by a political neophyte like Lapid. He said one of the reasons he failed as Labor leader was that even though he had been Haifa mayor for a decade, he was still what he called “a political virgin.”

Although it has been reported that Mitzna has ruled out running in the September 7 Labor Party primary, he said he had not closed the door on returning to activity inside Labor, though he is very worried by what is happening in the party.

“Labor is not going in the right direction,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “The chances of me rejoining the party are not great, but I am leaving all my options open. Kadima is not an option however. They don’t need me.”

Mitzna said the eight remaining Labor MKs included four candidates to head the party, which he said indicated a lack of seriousness, and four people who nearly left it, whom he said had nothing in common.

One option for Mitzna could be the National Left party that is in the process of being formed by Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s former bureau chief, Eldad Yaniv. Another could be a party that joins forces with Meretz.

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