Mitzna denies ‘ethnic’ quote about Peretz

Newspaper accuses Labor leadership candidate of racism after saying that Peretz "comes from another planet."

June 24, 2011 02:53
2 minute read.

Amram Mitzna 311. (photo credit: Ron Friedman)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Labor leadership candidate Amram Mitzna vigorously denied a front-page report in Ma’ariv on Thursday that quoted him making a statement about front-running candidate Amir Peretz that the newspaper interpreted as racist.

According to the report, Mitzna told pensioners in Givatayim that if elected, he could cooperate with fellow candidates Isaac Herzog and Shelly Yacimovich – and that they, unlike Peretz, added value to the party.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

‘Labor membership drive ridden by corruption’
Candidates in Labor blast gov't’s social policies

“They aren’t Amir Peretz,” Mitzna said according to the report. “He comes from another land.”

Another report quoted Mitzna saying Peretz was “from another planet.”

The newspaper interpreted “another land” as a reference to his native Morocco, and proclaimed in a headline that the “ethnic genie” had been uncorked in Labor.

“I was referring to his political approach, not his ethnicity,” Mitzna said, complaining about Peretz’s mass registration drive, which he believes tainted Labor with people who don’t belong in Labor, or who joined the party illegally.

Mitzna’s spokesman, Gil Solomon, said he was present at the speech and that Mitzna did not say such a thing.

Givatayim Deputy Mayor Iris Avraham, who does not support Mitzna’s candidacy but was at the event, said he had been misinterpreted.

“There is nothing wrong with talking about different political cultures,” she said.

“Mitzna and Peretz are very different people. There was nothing racist there. All attempts to ignite a racial dispute in Labor are unfair and incorrect.”

Candidates Herzog and venture capitalist Erel Margalit said they did not think Mitzna had bad intentions, or was a racist. Margalit called upon all six Labor candidates not to criticize each other, except on matters of policy.

Peretz, who is on a fundraising tour in the US, did not respond to the report.

But sources close to him called Mitzna “a nostalgia candidate from another time.”

They said that if the report was accurate, it showed he was unfit to lead Labor.

Peace Now Secretary-General Yarive Openheimer endorsed Peretz on Thursday because of his support for the peace process and his ability to bring frustrated Likud voters from poor sectors into the party.

“Amir Peretz is the only candidate who can lead a clear diplomatic approach, as well as a tough stance on socio-economic issues,” Openheimer said. “He can offer a sharp alternative to parties on the right and in the center.”

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN