Labor Party works to ease tensions

Halt steps to remove sec.-gen. in exchange for compromise on legal advisor.

The Labor Party made significant steps on Thursday towards reaching a compromise between members associated with Party Chairman Amir Peretz and those opposed to his manner of leadership. Sec.-Gen. Eitan Cabel withdrew a motion to hold elections for party institutions in October. He said he would hand the matter over to a committee that would submit its conclusions to the party in about two months. The party also accepted a compromise suggested by MK Ophir Paz-Pines on the volatile issue of its legal advisor Eldad Yaniv, whom Peretz removed from his post two weeks ago. It was decided that Yaniv would continue to serve in his position until he resigns voluntarily in August. Yaniv was considered an associate of former party chairman Ehud Barak. In return, the "rebels" forfeited their demand to have Cabel replaced. The five Labor rebels, consisting of MKs Matan Vilna'i, Ami Ayalon, Avishay Braverman, Colette Avital and Danny Yatom, have become increasingly vocal lately regarding their opposition to Peretz' leadership. Vilna'i spoke particularly harshly against the chairman, saying, shortly after the general elections, that Peretz was responsible for what Vilna'i saw as the party's downfall, and accusing the party leader of suffering from delusions of grandeur.