Histadrut boss pushes for end to Netanyahu coalition because of stalled peace talks

Ofer Eini

Israel’s top trade union leader Ofer Eini has reportedly again called on his Labour Party allies to leave the Netanyahu led coalition in light of the stalled peace negotiations with the Palestinians.

A struggle is going on inside the Israeli Labour Party as to how best to respond to the collapsed peace talks, with the Labour MK, Minorities Minister Avishay Braverman, now lining up with the Histadrut leader.

Eini believes Labour’s Barak is an impediment to peace

Ofer Eini has  for some time campaigned to end  Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s career as leader of the Israeli Labour Party, because he sees him as an impediment to the peace process, and not a legitimate social democrat.

In November Eini called Barak either an ‘imbecile’ or an’ idiot’ on a popular Israeli TV current affairs program because he had illegally employed a foreign domestic worker in his home and reportedly his wife had mistreated this worker.

But the Histadrut has for more than six months been telling Labour Party allies in the Knesset that they should be ending the Netanyahu Coalition government because of the failure to progress the peace process.

Pride in unionised Israeli firefighters

This week Ofer Eini blasted Netanyahu’s failures as he compared the work of Israeli firefighters, who he said were heroes he was proud to represent as good unionists, to the poor performance of the government in pushing for peace.

The Israeli firefighters have won support for their efforts from other unionised firefighters in the region who recently joined them battling the unprecedent Israeli forest fires.

Histadrut leader praised for calling on Labour to leave coalition

Braverman is quoted in the Israeli media as lauding the Histadrut labour federation chairman Ofer Eini for calling on the party to leave the coalition in light of the stalled peace negotiations with the Palestinians.

Braverman, is looking to replace Defense Minister Ehud Barak as Labour chief and is eager to have the Histadrut as an ally. But Braverman’s main competitor for the top job,  Welfare Minister Isaac Herzog, has also sought to get Ofer Eini to back him to take over from Barak.

On Tuesday Braverman presented the Israeli Labour Party’s Secretary-General Hilik Bar with 500 signatures of Labour Committee members who are demanding that it be convened urgently to discuss the possibility of issuing an ultimatum to Netanyahu, this after talks between the US regarding another construction freeze in the West Bank failed.


Note: While most media in Israel are suggesting the Histadrut leader wants his political allies to leave the Netanyahu coalition left-wing Israeli trade union critics claim it is all a subterfuge.

Assaf Adiv, the leader of WAC Ma’an – a small alternative trade union centre in Israel – argues in this November 2010 article in Challenge that Ofer Eini is really about promoting himself into the Coalition government.

Read earlier reports on TULIP about this issue