'If not for war, Labor would have changed Israel'

Defense Minister Amir Peretz tried to light a fire under his re-election campaign for the Labor Party leadership on Wednesday by hosting a Hanukkah party for 300 Labor activists at the party's Tel Aviv headquarters. Peretz told the crowd that were it not for the war in Lebanon, Labor under his leadership "would have changed the face of Israel in every aspect." He also apologized for not keeping in touch with the activists since becoming defense minister. In addition, Peretz's ally, Labor faction chair Yoram Marciano, warned the crowd against prematurely eulogizing Peretz.