While Ehud Barak’s return to the political arena led to a reawakening in Labor, pessimism is reigning around current party Chairman Amir Peretz. Late Sunday sources close to Peretz told Ynet, “Everything is collapsing in Amir’s office."
"He has the wrong people near him, and therefore he’s making all possible errors. He is a brilliant and wonderful man who is suited to run the country, but those around him are creating the problem. He’s stumbling into every pit possible,” they said.
Efforts to register people for his ticket are also not going so well. Senior officials in the Histadrut say the Peretz is having difficulty reaching his target number of recruits, as “people aren’t enthusiastic to register in support of him again.”
“This time the situation is totally different, and if Peretz thought he could manage a mass registry in the Histadrut again – he’s going to have a hard time,” union officials noted.
In the past the Histadrut workers union served Peretz as a source of many supporters and aided him significantly in his race for the Labor chairmanship.
Labor members are waiting for Peretz’ next steps. Some assessed that he is “in real trouble.”
However, the general assessment is that Peretz will not surrender the defense portfolio of his own accord.
Ehud Barak rallying support
In the meantime, Labor sources estimate that other senior party officials will soon announce their support for Ehud Barak.
Ministers Isaac Herzog and Eitan Cabel, for instance, are two prominent members facing pressure from Barak's associates to publicly join his camp in the near future.
Cabel and Herzog are set to meet with Barak for an intimate meeting in the coming days, and will try to agree on future collaboration.
Barak is interested in seeing as many senior party officials as possible behind him in the race for party leadership. Ministers Binyamin Ben Eliezer and Shalom Simhon have already made public their support for Barak.