(TEL-AVIV, Israel) -- The opening shots in what promises to be a brutal political dog fight were fired Wednesday night, as two senior members of Ehud Barak’s ailing Labour Party publicly signaled their intention to oust him as the party’s leader. Many see it as a coordinated attack that spells the beginning of the end for Israel’s defence minister.
“The only position I haven’t held is punching bag” Barak complained on radio Thursday.
On Wednesday, one of the two Labour Party figures, Ofer Eini, the leader of Israel’s main labor union, called Barak an “idiot” on television, referring to a scandal involving Barak's wife. The other Labour Party figure, Benjamin Ben Eliezer, called for the election of an outsider to revitalize the party.
Despite his international profile, particularly in the U.S., Barak is deeply unpopular in Israel. He is fabulously rich and has a reputation for arrogance and vindictiveness. The Labour Party he leads is slowly dying, holding only 13 of the 120 Knesset seats. It used to be the driving force of Israelis politics and the party once led by Rabin.
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