Braverman on Peretz victory: 'I knew it would revolutionize the movement.'
By SHEERA CLAIRE FRENKELBen Gurion University President Avishay Braverman joined the Labor Party Thursday, dealing a blow to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who was rumored to be recruiting Braverman to his new party.
Braverman announced the move in a joint press conference with Labor Party Chairman Amir Peretz. He began by stating that he had never seriously considered joining Sharon.
"I have been a member of Labor my whole life," said Braverman. "I am the son of a carpenter and a nursery school teacher who were always members of the Labor Party. It is the culture and morality on which I was raised."
Braverman stressed that it was the election of Peretz as Labor Party Chairman that convinced him to join.
"When Peretz won the Labor Party leadership I knew it would revolutionize the movement. His election was the catalyst that convinced me to join," said Bravernman. "Amir Peretz's way is my way. Peretz is not a communist; his way is the way of Blair and Clinton - the social democracy."
Peretz highlighted Braverman's work as an economist, noting that he would bring a strong economic plan to Israel.
"Braverman is a man of the world and a man of the people," said Peretz. "I believe that the state of Israel is at a crossroads today. If Israel continues on its present path, it will degenerate into a Third World country."
Meanwhile, Yariv Oppenheimer, the leader of Peace Now announced that he would seek a place on the Labor Party lineup for the 17th Knesset. Peace Now is noted for its work dismantling illegal outposts.
Oppenheimer said that he hoped to continue collecting data and using that information to dismantle outposts in the Judea Samaria.