Labor Party chief Isaac Herzog (L) and Hatnua chair Tzipi Livni announce their political alliance in Tel Aviv .
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Manuel Trajtenberg, best known for heading the committee on social change following the 2011 summer social justice protests, will run in the upcoming election with Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni’s Zionist camp as their finance ministry nominee.
“I’m glad you’ve decided to give me one of the most important roles,“ Trajtenberg told Herzog and Livni at a joint press conference in Tel Aviv.
The decision to promise a member of their own party the Finance Ministry portfolio may complicate post-election coalition negotiations. Moshe Kahlon, whose Koolanu party is running solely on a socio-economic platform, has his eye on the portfolio as well.
Trajtenberg blamed successive governments for failing to carry out the recommendations his committee made, and fingered that failure as his reason for joining politics. When he agreed to head the committee, he said, he told himself that “If the government doesn’t do its part, I promise to ensure the job gets done.”
“In order for there to be a change, you must translate the slogan to clear steps,” he later added
At the conference, Herzog laid out three economic goals for his party: lowering the cost of housing, decreasing the cost of living, and addressing poverty and economic gaps. But he did not stop there.
“There is a direct connection between the welfare status of Israel and Israel’s diplomatic status,” he said.
Turning to the failed United Nations Security Council resolution to force Israel’s withdrawal from the West Bank within two years, which fell short of the nine votes it needed on Tuesday, Herzog said, “The process that occurred yesterday is not a celebration for Israel but a problematic day for Israel.”
Important European allies such as France voted for the resolution, he noted, and Israel’s testy ties with the administration of US President Barack Obama did not help the problem. Livni compared the resolution’s failure to the Iron Dome system shooting down a Hamas rocket, a positive and necessary outcome, but not better than stopping rocket fire to begin with.