A day after Labor leader Ehud Barak was attacked by two prominent party leaders, a central Labor activist is demanding Barak be replaced at the top of the party by Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer.
"We must replace Barak with Ben-Eliezer as temporary leader, so he can rebuild the ruins that Barak left. That's our last hope," says Yosef Shriki, secretary of Labor's Netivot branch.
Ben-Eliezer and Histadrut labor federation chairman Ofer Eini had branded Barak unfit to be Labor leader on separate occasions on Wednesday. Yesterday they were joined by Shriki, Barak's former confidant.
"Barak must end his term, he has wrecked the party. He is cut off from the field and ignores the public that voted for him," said Shriki, who has been close to Barak for his whole political career.
"Labor has ceased from being a party," he added. "The field activists have dispersed, the branches are closing. We've been left like a flock with no shepherd."
Shriki supported Barak when he contended in Labor's primaries against Amir Peretz, despite his concern for social causes.
"I admit I was wrong, big time. But Barak is not the right man. We thought he would change as he promised, but nothing has changed," he said. "Barak is incapable of connecting with people, his advisors have cut him off from the party and friends, built a wall around him. ... All the ministers should quit and set a date for elections. I hope Ofer Eini [eventually] takes the reins and restores the party to the public."
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