Tamir's job on the line as teachers' strike marches on

Senior Labor officials say displeasure with Tamir's inability to end 20-day-long strike may lead them to oust her from the ministry.

Yuli Tamir 88 224 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Yuli Tamir 88 224
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Displeasure with Education Minister Yuli Tamir's inability to end the 20-day-long teachers' strike may lead Labor officials to oust her from the ministry, senior party officials said Thursday. "They have been unhappy with her for a while and she is no longer close to the Labor leadership. Now, they would have popular support to remove her," said one Labor MK. Tamir was a close ally of former Labor chairman Amir Peretz, who was ousted by Defense Minister Ehud Barak in the party's June primary. "Barak would have been very happy replacing her months ago, but he was afraid that it would be seen as a political move," the MK said. Lawmakers close to Barak said his silence regarding the strike at High Schools and some Junior High schools was an indication of his lack of support for Tamir. By not addressing the issue, said one MK, he was leaving Tamir to shoulder all the blame for the ongoing closedown. A representative of Tamir could not be reached for comment. "Unfortunately [Tamir] is proving to be the other side of the coin to [former education minister] Limor Livnat [of Likud]," said Guy Spiegelman, a Labor activist who helped the party develop its education platform before the past national election. "She [Tamir] should have [announced] she was starting the reforms that were agreed upon in the coalition agreement." Those reforms were to have included an increased budget for the education ministry, and a loan program for students pursuing higher education. "Tamir was the 'great white hope' for the party, but she didn't come through on any of her promises," said one MK. "She has been added to the growing mountain of failed promises from the 'socioeconomic' revolution that Peretz promised." The Education portfolio could be given to Minister-without-Portfolio Ami Ayalon, who narrowly lost the Labor leadership primary to Barak. Ayalon could not be reached for comment, but has previously said that he would be interested in the position.