Former PM Ehud Barak: Elections may already be lost for Left

Meanwhile Labor chairman Gabbay and MK Cabel clash behind closed doors.

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

Former prime minister Ehud Bark indicated Wednesday that the political bloc he believes is necessary to defeat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is unlikely to be formed by next Thursday’s deadline.

Barak has been working behind the scenes for months to bring about a bloc that would include former IDF chiefs of staff Benny Gantz and Moshe Ya’alon, the Labor Party, Yesh Atid, Hatnua and former Likud justice minister Dan Meridor.

“The necessary condition to bring about a political upheaval is building a bloc of similar size to Likud that could prevent the Likud from forming a government,” Barak wrote on Twitter. “The fact that such a bloc has not been made decreases chances for an upheaval. It is not too late to unite and throw Netanyahu out of the Prime Minister’s Residence on Balfour Street.”

In an interview to KAN Radio, Barak said he would not receive the second slot on the Labor list, which party leader Avi Gabbay reserves the right to select for himself.

“I didn’t ask for anything and was not offered anything,” Barak said. “I’m not sure it is right to offer it to me. I don’t think that would be the best way for me to help. I can help in many ways.”

Channel 12 played a recording of Gabbay saying in the closed-door meeting that the return of Barak to the party’s list for Knesset would be “collective suicide.”

Gabbay convened the Labor faction for the first time since Monday’s primary in Tel Aviv on Wednesday afternoon. MK Eitan Cabel came to the meeting despite his accusations that Gabbay was “unquestionably” behind him receiving what Cabel called an unrealistic slot (15th).

Cabel told The Jerusalem Post that he had not made up with Gabbay. MKs at the meeting said Cabel criticized the campaign that Gabbay unveiled to the MKs in the closed-door meeting and Gabbay criticized him back.

Other MKs who won unrealistic slots did not attend, including Nachman Shai and Yossi Yonah.

Gabbay made fun of the Likud, Yesh Atid and Gantz’s Israel Resilience Party at the faction meeting. He said that while the Likud was still counting votes, Labor was starting to take action by visiting a hospital. He accused Gantz and Yesh Atid of not speaking clearly on the diplomatic issue.

“We won’t hide our agenda like other parties in our camp,” Gabbay said. “Our diplomatic plan is clear. We back separation from the Palestinians and reaching two states for two peoples as part of an agreement with them.”

Gabbay promised that Labor would earn more seats in the April 9 election than the five to eight currently predicted in the polls.

“Labor will be the surprise of the election and will help bring about a political upheaval that will allow our ideology to be implemented,” he said.