mitzna - Moti Kimche - February 7 2011
Amram Mitzna Photo by Moti Kimche
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Former Labor Party chairman Amram Mitzna is distancing himself from his party and speculation that he may run for a leadership post again. Instead, sources say he is considering trying for the chairmanship of the National Left movement.

Haaretz had learned that Mitzna initiated a meeting with one of the movement's founders, Eldad Yaniv, and discussed with him the possibility of leading the organization when it becomes a political party. Mitzna and Yaniv both confirmed to Haaretz they had met, but Mitzna was keen to stress he has not yet decided to return to politics.

Mitzna had been considered a front-runner to head Labor over the last few months, until then-chairman Ehud Barak left the party, shaking up its ranks. He was approached by then-minister Benjamin Ben Eliezer a few months ago, who said at the the time he thought Mitzna, formerly a bitter political rival, was the most suitable person to resume leadership of the party.

Mitzna announced he was seriously considering the Labor proposal, but his enthusiasm for the prospect appears to have waned in recent weeks. He had said in closed conversations he believes the Labor party is beyond change or recovery, and that the eight MKs that remained after the split will not be able to find a strong enough common denominator, which means internal rifts and rivalries will continue.

Sources said Mitzna believes the political map in Israel needs a new center-left party, and he sees interesting elements in the National Left movement. He initiated the movement with Yaniv to hear more about its organization and prospects.