Barak Lashes Out at Infighting Within Labor Party

At Rabin remembrance meeting, Labor Chairman Ehud Barak calls on party members to 'avoid the relentless undermining that [Rabin] so much criticized.'

In the wake of efforts by two senior Labor party members to prevent him from running again for the leadership of the Labor Party, Ehud Barak called on party members to "avoid the relentless undermining that Yitzhak Rabin so much criticized," during a memorial service for the slain prime minister on Thursday.

"We do not excel at tolerance nor in respecting each other - not in public discourse, not in party discourse and not in personal discourse," the Labor chairman said.

Ehud Barak
Tomer Appelbaum

Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer denied that his earlier call too prevent Barak from running again for Labor leadership was coordinated with a similar call by Histadrut Chairman Ofer Eini.

"Nothing was planned," Ben-Eliezer said as he visited the Standards Institute with his deputy Orit Noked.

Earlier Thursday, Barak declared that he would remain Labor chairman, despite Ben-Eliezer and Eini's efforts to keep him from vying for the leadership at the next election.

Barak canceled a scheduled meeting with Ben-Eliezer, who had told an activists' gathering in Ramat Gan on Wednesday that only an outside leader could save the party.

Also on Wednesday, Channel 2 news ran an interview with Eini who criticized Barak for the affair concerning Barak's wife hiring of an illegal Filipina worker.

"[If] you're a minister, what are you [doing] bringing a Filipina home? What are you, an idiot?," Eini said.

In an interview with Israel Radio on Thursday, Barak accused his two colleagues of "stirring the pot" within the party.