311_ amir peretz.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski/The Jerusalem Post))
Candidates in September’s Labor Party leadership election discussed the
country’s socioeconomic condition, with food prices and Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu’s policies taking center stage at the party’s central committee
meeting on Sunday.
RELATED:Peretz admits to visiting Barghouti MK gives Netanyahu ‘expensive gift’: Cottage cheese
“The cottage cheese protest brings forward a deep
feeling that citizens are not satisfied, because they see that services are
becoming worse and family expenses are rising,” MK Isaac Herzog said, speaking
at party headquarters in Beit Berl outside Kfar Saba. “The expiration date for
nationalization – just like cottage cheese – hasn’t passed yet.”
Labor chairman Amram Mitzna said that the party “will not be a partner of a
government that privatizes social services and deregulates basic products,” such
as dairy ones.
MK Shelly Yacimovich slammed the government’s economic
policies, saying they hurt the weakest members of society.
economic policy’s purpose is to shirk the state’s responsibility to its citizens
in order to save on the responsibility’s cost,” Yacimovich said. “We can pity
the elderly and the Holocaust survivor, compassion is a great emotion, but
instead of just displaying pity over the results of these cruel economic
policies, we need to change them in a deep, basic way.”
candidate, venture capitalist Erel Margalit, also criticized the prime
minister’s economic policies.
“Netanyahu runs the economy like an
accountant who’s trying to save money at the citizens’ expense,” Margalit said.
“He doesn’t understand the new economy and the Israeli people’s strength –
invention and innovation.
Netanyahu speaks English, but he doesn’t
understand the new world and its spirit.”
Herzog also referred to the
diplomatic speeches the prime minister gave while he was abroad recently, saying
that he himself just returned from the US “very disturbed by what I saw –
Netanyahu left scorched earth in Washington, and no one seems to be aware of
“There is a direct connection between foreign policy and economics,”
Herzog said. “Solidarity in Israel is unraveling because of the many social
processes we are going through, such as individualism.”
“I’m amazed at
Likud Knesset members who say the Likud is a social party,” MK Amir Peretz said.
“Because of Likud policies, we in the Labor Party have to fight to present a
social vision. We not only need to stop the processes that the Likud has led,
but to bring us back to where we were before all the damage was
“Netanyahu was the engine that led the processes that brought
us to where we are today,” Peretz said.
The meeting concluded with a
decision to form a committee for economic affairs within Labor, which will be
led by MK Avishai Braverman, who is not running for the party’s leadership.