Even as Labor Party candidate Avishay Braverman publicized a detailed socio-democratic platform Sunday, he acknowledged the need for Labor to campaign more strategically on security issues.
"The truth is that we have the best security people, the highest ranking generals of any party," Braverman said, citing candidates Ami Ayalon, Matan Vilna'i, Ephraim Sneh, Danny Yatom and Binyamin Ben-Eliezer. "We need to do a better job of presenting them to the public."
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While socio-democratic issues would always remain at the heart of the Labor agenda, Braverman stressed that the Labor Party would need to speak "more loudly and more clearly" about security and defense issues.
"The spin doctors in Israel are working their spins, and sometimes spin doctors win elections," he said. "What is important, however, is who rules and how they rule once the spins of the election are over."
Braverman said Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's incapacitation and Hamas's victory in the Palestinian Authority elections were just two of the many earthquakes that had shaken Israel since he joined Labor's list.
"Clearly we are in very troubled seas," he said. "Day by day things can change here, yet we remain consistent in our basic agenda."
Braverman said the IDF would remain as strong as it always had been under a Labor-led government.
"Here is the truth: our security policies are very similar to Kadima's," he said. "If you buy their security agenda, you buy ours. Our security flag is their security flag...
"The difference is that we raise a second flag, that of socioeconomic policies that will attend to Israel's social needs."
Outside the windows of Braverman's office at Labor campaign headquarters in Or Yehuda people seek handouts on the street. Since leaving his position as president of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, he has visited numerous communities, speaking with constituents he hopes to win over - especially those from the lowest economic brackets.
When asked about education, a pained look crosses Braverman's face.
"The state of the Israeli education system saddens me," he said. "I grew up in a quality education system and now my sons are in schools that have suffered years of neglect."