Omer Bar-Lev says he will attempt to gather the requisite 61 signatures to recommend that Likud's number two, Yuli Edelstein, establish a coalition
Israel Labor Party
Israel's Labor Party, (Mifleget Ha'Avoda in Hebrew), was established in 1968 when predecessor Mapai united with the Ahdut Ha'Avoda and Rafi parties.
Defined as social democratic, Labor has long been the dominant center-left party in Israel, although its popularity among voters has steadily waned over the past decade.
The Labor Party - and its various previous incarnations - was for many years the single hegemonic political party in Israel, leading every government from 1948 until Menachem Begin's Likud first came to power in 1977.
The past decade has seen a decline in Labor's influence in Israeli politics. In the 2009 general elections, the party, led once again by former prime minister Ehud Barak, won just 13 Knesset seats, making it the fourth largest political party in Israel behind Likud, Kadima and Yisrael Beiteinu.
Labor "supports the policy of social pluralism and equality, and since the 1990's, a free market “with a soul' economic policy." In the political arena, despite most of its leaders having a military background, Labor has traditionally led a pragmatic, more compromising approach to solving Israel's geo-political issues with neighboring Arab countries and the Palestinians.
Past leaders of the party include David Ben-Gurion, Moshe Sharett, Levi Eshkol, Golda Meir, Moshe Dayan, Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, and Amir Peretz. Barak, the current leader, took the party to a decisive victory in 1999, ending Benjamin Netanyahu's first tenure as prime minister.
But Barak's defeat at the hands of Ariel Sharon just two years later marked the start of Labor's decline, which has persisted to this day. The establishment of Kadima by Sharon in 2005 drew several prominent Labor lawmakers away from the party, and also pulled in some of its voters, who felt comfortable with Sharon in light of his decision to end Israel's presence in the Gaza Strip.
Following his electoral defeat in 2001, Barak disappeared from Israeli politics for several years, only to reemerge in 2005. In 2007, he defeated then party chief Amir Peretz in a leadership race, and reassumed the post of Labor leader. His decision to take Labor into Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud-led government following the 2009 general elections has led many to view the party as having lost its way, and created internal tensions.
These tensions led to the resignation of prominent party MK Ophir Pines-Paz in January 2010. Pines-Paz was part of a group of Labor “rebels” who considered leaving Labor to form a new party more compatible with what they believe to be Labor's true platform.
Netanyahu has 30 days to request that the Knesset grant him immunity so he may avoid a criminal trial, but since Israel's first election was held this year in April, no new House Committee has been appointed
For the first time since Ehud Barak lost the premiership to Ariel Sharon in 2001, the Israeli tribe feels it has a leader again, although Gantz is nowhere near forming a government
Election Countdown 48 Hours to Go: Netanyahu Cries 'Election Theft', Far-right Homophobic Party Quits
Joint Arab slate fears provocation at polling stations on Election Day ■ Likud Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon reportedly intends to retire from politics after September 17
It doesn't matter whether Israelis changed their minds since they last had to cast their votes in April. There is one issue that can still tip the scales on Tuesday
After attacks from fellow center-left parties and smear campaign targeting former Yisrael Beiteinu lawmaker Levi-Abekasis, Labor-Gesher moves into high gear: If we don't make it into the Knesset, Netanyahu will have a majority
His victory hangs on the fates of racist Otzma and leftist Labor - and on right-wingers coming out in droves while leftists go to the beach
Far-right Otzma Yehudit predicted to get four seats – but Kahol Lavan is seen gaining support and right-wing bloc still falls short of majority without Lieberman
Sources in Israeli left-wing alliance say campaign intended to attract voters 'even at price of Labor not entering Knesset'
Both major parties gain strength ahead of Israel's September 17 ballot, while Kahanist party Otzma Yehudit seen inching closer the electoral threshold
Kahol Lavan or Democratic Union? Labor-Gesher or the Joint List of Arab parties? Avigdor Lieberman?!? Haaretz speaks to lifelong leftists who are agonizing over how to cast their ballot on September 17
Main opposition party's first choice after Israel's September vote would still be to form a coalition with Netanyahu's party, senior official says
Peretz’s prevarication on Netanyahu overshadowed his just protest against Israel’s deteriorating social services
What the heck was Channel 12 News thinking when it gave in to a base PR trick by desperate mustache-less Labor-Gesher leader, Amir Peretz?
Its plan to tax the upper middle class to pay for a giant social-welfare plan discredits the idea of helping the needy
Far-right parties Otzmah Yehudit, Noam and Zehut projected not to cross electoral threshold
'You aren’t leaving Likud, Likud has left you,' Peretz tells crowd at Gaza border town
With speculations of a national unity government after September 17, a look back at Shamir and Peres, who established one in 1984 after failing to gain Knesset majority
Gantz's party fired back, saying Democratic Union's Ehud Barak 'could teach a course in crawling into Netanyahu governments’ ■ Right-wing alliance promises legalization of West Bank settlements, liberal economy
'We believe that we must restore hope to the residents of the Gaza Strip, not deterrence,' said a Meretz source
In the U.S., political unity is rewarded — but in Israel, small, marginal political forces have all the power
The Russian vote, Benny Gantz’s staying power and Labor’s survivability are among the issues deciding whether voters can battle Bibi fatigue