Avi Buskila
Avi Buskila Gili Yaari/Flash 90

Former Prime Minister Ehud Barak is continuing his attempts to expand the new party he founded, “Democratic Israel”, Channel 13 News reported on Sunday.

According to the report, Barak is trying to recruit Meretz activist and former Peace Now Secretary-General Avi Buskila to the party.

Barak and Buskila have already met several times and the contacts between them are at an advanced stage.

So far, Barak has recruited former Deputy IDF Chief of Staff Yair Golan, Dr. Kobi Richter, Prof. Yifat Bitton and Noa Rothman, the granddaughter of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Barak is reportedly interested in forming a larger bloc on the left in an attempt to position himself as high as possible on the list, but the Blue and White party has thus far rejected the idea of an alliance with Democratic Israel.

The Labor Party, too, is considering an alliance with Barak’s party, but it is possible that its new chairman, Amir Peretz, will choose to try and run alone to strengthen his party, which suffered a severe defeat in the last elections.

Before Barak announced the formation of his new party, Peretz said that he would have no problem granting the leadership of the party to Barak despite the longstanding rivalry between them.

Barak has said in interviews that his party won't sit with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in one government under any circumstances. "Our goal is to bring Israel back on track and topple Netanyahu's regime," he made clear.

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