(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Labor leader Isaac Herzog suffered a blow Monday when Knesset Economic Affairs Committee chairman Avishay Braverman announced that he will not be running in the March 17 election.
A renowned economist, Braverman served in a senior position in the World Bank in Washington and then turned around Ben-Gurion University of the Negev when he served as its president. But in eight years in politics, the top job he was appointed to was minority affairs minister, and he was unlikely to become finance minister even if Labor won the race, so he decided to quit.
Braverman, 66, informed Herzog of his decision and told him he would continue to support the Labor Party.
“After many years of governments led by the Right, there is a real chance for a revolution that will bring Israel better leadership,” Braverman said in a statement released by Herzog’s spokesman. “Isaac Herzog is the candidate that can bring about this change.”
In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, Braverman said he did not know what his next job would be but that he did not intend to retire.
“I will continue pushing for benevolent capitalism, economic development and social justice,” he said. “I am not giving up on my commitment to Zionism. I will be involved. I will continue contributing to Israel.”
He told Channel 1 that Israeli politics had become “too shallow” and that current Israeli politicians do not care about future generations.
Herzog and Hatnua head Tzipi Livni have been in contact with economist Manuel Trajtenberg about running on their joint list. He has also been sought after by former social welfare minister Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu party.
“In all of my roles, I used my experience and my skills in order to contribute to the state and society of Israel and to bring responsible and social economic discussion to the Knesset,” Braverman said in the press release.
Braverman said that he felt he had done all he could as an MK, and that he would use his remaining time as an MK to finish his tasks as head of the Economics Committee and to help the Labor Party in its election campaign.
He called on the party to follow his economic path going forward.
“In my years in the Knesset and in the government, I have outlined a moral and socially just style of economics,” he said. If the Labor Party will adopt it, then it will be able to bring just economics to the State of Israel.”