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Laborites flock to Barak

Two senior members of Israel’s Labor Party came
out in support of Ehud Barak’s leadership bid. Party Secretary-General Eitan Cabel
and lawmaker Matan Vilna’i announced this week that they would back the
former Israeli prime minister in the May 28 primary for party leader. Barak already
has the support of several top Labor figures, though polls of party
rank-and-file show him trailing frontrunner Ami Ayalon, a retired admiral
and former Shin Bet security chief. Israeli pundits have speculated that if either Barak or Ayalon succeeds in toppling Labor chief Amir Peretz, they could
team up to challenge Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for top
office.

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