Labor to steer elections to economics

Plan to assert that social security is as important as national security.

bibi and peretz 298 AJ (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
bibi and peretz 298 AJ
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Their election campaign has not yet officially been launched, but Labor Party officials said Sunday that they were already butting heads with Kadima over the direction of the elections. "There is a conflict between Sharon's people trying to take the election in the direction of defense issues, and us [the Labor Party] trying to refocus public attention on humanitarian issues," said Ronnen Tzur, a campaign manager for Amir Peretz. "Our message is that it is not just national security which is important, but social security as well." The term "social security" has already been touted as the focus of the campaign, emphasizing Chairman Amir Peretz's promise to give people socio-economic security, said a spokesman, and the official slogan will likely include some play on that term. While Labor officials stressed that Peretz would not "ignore the issue of defense," they argued that the public was becomingly increasingly wary of election campaigns that focused solely on Israel's security issues. "Right now we are trying to catch the attention of the old Likud members who have now switched to Sharon's party [Kadima] to tell them that Sharon is not capable of taking care of the socio-economic needs of Israel," said Tzur regarding Labor's current advertising campaign. "What is clear, at the moment, is that the election campaign will be twofold: To keep those who have recently joined as a result of Peretz's election as party chairman, and to encourage veteran party members to continue thinking of Labor as their home," said MK Ophir Paz-Pines, the campaign's strategic team chairman.