Wooing Mitzna: Former Labor chief meets Barak, then Meretz
Former Labor leader Amram Mitzna is expected to return to politics soon; he recently met with Labor officials as well as Meretz and other left-wing leaders.
Former Labor leader Amram Mitzna is expected to return to politics soon. He has been meeting senior Labor members, who have been urging him to make another bid for the party leadership. He has also met Meretz and other left-wing leaders who have been moving toward setting up a new party.
"I will decide in a month or two whether to return to politics and in what framework," Mitzna told Haaretz on Thursday. He said he would soon decide whether to run for Labor's leadership again.
In the past week, since completing his term as head of the appointed committee running the Negev town Yeruham, Mitzna has been courted by Labor chairman Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, who called on him to resume his activity in the party.
Barak reportedly hinted to Mitzna that he saw him as his successor after Barak's retirement, while Ben-Eliezer told him he is the man capable of rehabilitating the party and leading it in the next elections.
Mitzna also met Meretz chairman MK Haim Oron, who urged him on Thursday to throw his hat into the political ring again.
Mitzna also met former Prime Minister's Office director general Yossi Kucik, who tried to recruit him to a new left-wing party he is setting up.
If Mitzna returns to politics he is expected to do so within an existing party, as he is not seen as a great believer in new frameworks, which he has described as "problematic."
"I think it's very problematic to form a new party, so the first thing to be examined is whether the party can be rehabilitated and with what tools. The [Labor] party needs a deep ideological change, as well as in the leading personalities," he said.
Political sources believe that Mitzna, still a Labor member, will prefer this party as it would enable him to undergo a corrective therapeutic experience. Mitzna said he would follow political developments and Labor's course in the government. "I ask myself what I can do after running for leadership, should I be elected," he said.
Former Labor secretary general MK Eitan Cabel warned Mitzna not to go near the Labor Party. Speaking on Army Radio, Cabel said "I advise my friend Amram Mitzna to look for a 10-foot pole and not to touch Labor with it ... after the huge pain on the day he announced his decision to resign, the pain he may feel this time will be even greater. I advise him to have no qualms this time."
Labor sources said in response they would act to oust Cabel from the party, and accused him of undermining Labor and intending to join Kadima.
"Labor calls on MK Cabel to return his seat in Labor's Knesset faction and end his party membership," a statement issued by Labor said.