Braverman derided for declaring himself Rabin’s heir

Labor MK: There is not enough room on Rabin’s neck for all the people who have declared themselves his successor.

311_Avishai Braverman (photo credit: Associated Press)
311_Avishai Braverman
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Labor leadership candidate Avishay Braverman earned the wrath of his faction colleagues on Thursday when he declared himself the successor of two men who were prime minister and Labor leader, Yitzhak Rabin and David Ben-Gurion.
In an interview published Thursday, the day after ceremonies marking the 15th anniversary of Rabin’s assassination, Braverman boasted to Ma’ariv that he would upgrade Labor to 25 seats from its current 13 and become prime minister.
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“The public will have to decide between Lieberman and Braverman,” he said, referring to the foreign minister and Israel Beiteinu leader, who aims to lead the Right. “I represent an enlightened liberal outlook against his cheap populism that endangers the state.”
Braverman, who built up Ben- Gurion University of the Negev as its longtime president, compared Labor to a hi-tech start-up that he believes could become very successful. He hinted for the first time that he intended to leave his post as minorities affairs minister when he officially declares his candidacy for the Labor leadership.
Welfare and Social Services Minister Isaac Herzog, who formally announced his candidacy last week, declined to respond to Braverman’s statements.
But their colleagues in the Labor faction did not hold back their punches.
“Braverman’s comparison of himself to Rabin is sheer chutzpa,” one Labor MK said. “There is not enough room on Rabin’s neck for all the people who have declared themselves his successor.”
Another top Labor official called Braverman a “megalomaniac” and said he did not have even 10 percent of the knowledge about security that Rabin had.
“Avishay is a professor who was destroyed by politics in a short period of time,” the official said. “He became a politician in the bad sense of the word, and that is so sad.”
Meanwhile, Channel 2 reported on Thursday night that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had requested another meeting with Kadima leader Tzipi Livni, with whom he met last Friday. The report suggested that this was a sign that a national unity government could be on the way.
A Livni associate confirmed that Netanyahu’s office had indeed called, but said, “That is no reason to get carried away.”
Coalition chairman Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) said he had not gotten the impression that there was any movement toward a government with Kadima.