Labor 'Rebels' Spurn Invite to Barak Reconciliation Meet

Only two MKs who opposed entry to Netanyahu coalition attend Tel Aviv meet with party leader.

The majority of the Labor lawmakers who opposed their party's entry into Israel's next government spurned an invitation to a reconciliation meeting with Labor chairman Ehud Barak on Thursday.

Barak managed to gain approval from the party for the move on Tuesday, despite bitter internal opposition.

Only MKs Avishai Braverman and Daniel Ben Simon, both of whom are expected to be offered cabinet posts, came to the meeting at the Defense Ministry compound in Tel Aviv.

But the other five "rebel" lawmakers - Eitan Cabel, Ophir Pines-Paz, Shelly Yachimovich, Amir Peretz and Yuli Tamir - all snubbed his invitation.

"Barak can summon us, but it is not certain that we will come dancing to the Kirya," one of the absentee MKs said. "A lot of things have happened in the last few days, including aggressive and anti-democratic conduct by Barak."

Barak had invited the MKs to his office with the aim of decreasing tensions within the party following the bitter internal split over Barak's ultimately-successful push to join Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu's incoming government.

Barak said during the meeting that he would act toward achieving party unity.

"It was a democratic decision and now we must bring the party together and work," he said.

The opposing MKs said Thursday it was too early for reconciliation talks.