Amir Peretz Labor campaign 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Many Labor Party leadership candidates over the last decade and a half have
declared themselves the political heir to former prime minister and Labor head
RELATED:Peretz admits to visiting Barghouti Amir Peretz tops Labor Party membership drive
MK Amir Peretz took a different strategy at a press
conference Monday at Tel Aviv’s Beit Sokolov when he took the mantle of a
different former prime minister, the Likud’s Menachem Begin.
slammed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s socioeconomic policies and accused
him of harming the poor masses who Begin championed.
privatized Begin’s legacy and sold out to the tycoons,” Peretz said.
Labor candidate, who has become close to J Street and Leftist-American
politicians, said the prime minister has made the Likud into a copy of the
American Republican Party and adopted its capitalistic, economic
Peretz also indicated that Begin’s views were closer to his
than Netanyahu’s on issues of protecting Israel’s Arab minority from
discrimination and on the need to make sacrifices for peace.
understood that there are fateful times for Israel and times when it’s necessary
to take the bull by the horns,” Peretz said. “He broke his promise to keep [the
settlement] Yamit [in the Sinai] and took the important step of making peace
with Egypt in order to guarantee Israel’s future.”
Comparing himself to
Begin is part of Peretz’s strategy of wooing Likud voters. He targeted them in
Labor’s membership drive and he intends to focus on taking away mandates from
Likud in the periphery if he wins the September 12 Labor race.
press conference, Peretz revealed his campaign slogan, which promises that he
would bring new votes and voices to Labor, using a word that has both
connotations in Hebrew.
Likud MK Ophir Akunis, who heads the party’s
response team, responded that it was natural that parties on the Right and Left
would try to woo the Likud’s voters, because the Likud had the most support in
the polls. But he said that no party would succeed in taking Likudniks away from
their political home.
A poll taken by Panels Ltd. for a program on
the Knesset Channel asked which politician would be most fit to head a new
Forty percent said Labor leadership candidate MK
Shelly Yacimovich, 13% said Labor candidate Amram Mitzna, 8% said cottage cheese
activist Yitzhak Elrov, and 6% said Peretz would be most fit.
The poll of
505 adults representing a statistical sample of the population was taken on
Sunday. It had a margin of error of 4.3%.