The Labor Party has broken many negative records during the last few years, but many party members felt Sunday morning was a new low. After harsh words and stormy debates between Binyamin Ben-Eliezer and an advisor to Ehud Barak, senior party sources told Ynet this may the beginning of the end for Barak as a leader – as well as for the current coalition.
"Barak is completely isolated," one source said. "We are waiting to see if he has any influence over (Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu regarding negotiations (with the Palestinians). If not, it will be the beginning of the end, both of the coalition and of Barak's leadership. Right now, his leadership is almost non-existent."
Others wondered whether another "explosion" was brewing, in light of the situation among the party's upper echelons: Will Barak join up with Netanyahu and leave the party, which is moving away from him?
"There has never been a situation like this in the party," the sources said. "Everyone's waiting to see what will happen and what will change. The moment of decision is approaching in any case."
The sources noted that the results of the prime minister's meeting with US President Barack Obama must be seen, to understand whether Barak can push Netanyahu into negotiating with the Palestinians.
Many believe that a significant policy change could cause Labor to unite around Barak again, but no such change may cause the internal party rifts to only grow worse.
In the shadow of intrigues, nerves snapped Sunday morning during a meeting of Labor ministers. Minister of Trade, Industry and Labor Ben-Eliezer raged against the chairman of his party because his spokesman briefed journalists and said Barak had opposed Ben-Eliezer's meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
In addition, he said the leak about the meeting in Brussels had come from the Defense Ministry, of which Barak is minister.
"I'll grill you. You don't know what an Iraqi is," Ben-Eliezer said to Barak's spokesman, referring to his own "fiery" ethnic background.
"Lower your tone, I don't work for you," the spokesman responded.