BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Persian Pashto Turkish French
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Middle East  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 20 November, 2002, 10:12 GMT
New Israeli opposition leader's uphill struggle
New Israeli Labour Party leader Amram Mitzna celebrates with supporters
Even Labour itself admits Mitzna faces a challenge

Amram Mitzna, the mayor of Haifa, is the new leader of Israel's Labour Party.

He will lead the party into the country's general election to be held at the end of January.

Getting elected head of the party was the easy bit - opinion polls always suggested that Mr Mitzna would win the Labour leadership by a comfortable margin.

Now he has to move on to the hard part and the real contest - Israel's general election. And for now almost no-one here thinks he can win.

More than two years of violence have left Israel in a right-wing mood and that favours the current prime minister, Ariel Sharon.

Open doubts

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
The national mood favours Mr Sharon
Labour Party officials admit in private, and even in public, that their party stands little chance of winning back power in this coming election.

But still Labour's new leader will campaign in the hope that the country's mood may change and that a new face in national politics may just make the difference.

Mr Mitzna's platform offers a clear contrast to Mr Sharon's.

Mr Mitzna says he is in favour of restarting peace talks with the Palestinians, no matter who their leader is.

And he says that if talks fail, he will remove Jewish settlements from many parts of the West Bank and then build a security wall to divide Israel from Palestinian lands - a policy known here as "unilateral separation".

Mr Mitzna now has two months in which to persuade the Israeli public that his ideas are worth betting on at the ballot box.


Key stories

Profiles

FACTFILE

TALKING POINT

AUDIO VIDEO
See also:

18 Nov 02 | Middle East
31 Oct 02 | Middle East
06 Nov 02 | Middle East
30 Oct 02 | Middle East
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Middle East stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Middle East stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes