Peretz attacks Barak, Ayalon in speech

Labor chair, polling third, calls Barak a "dealmaker," Ayalon an "opportunist."

ami ayalon stern 298 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
ami ayalon stern 298
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
After he wins the Labor party primary on Monday, party chairman Amir Peretz told hundreds of Labor supporters Friday at an event in Or Yehuda, he intends to notify Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that he wants to "reopen" the coalition agreement. Peretz promised his audience to take up social issues. "The minimum wage shouldn't be $1000, but 1000 Euros," he declared. Polls published Friday showed Peretz rallying but still placing third in the primary race. The party chair Peretz took advantage of the event to vent his spleen about fellow candidates MK Ami Ayalon (polling at 35 percent) and former prime minister Ehud Barak (31%.)
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  • Middle Israel: Bibi's choice for Labor leader (col.) Not mincing his words, Peretz accused Ayalon of being an opportunist and Barak of being a "dealmaker." "There are three camps competing," Peretz said. "The 'dealmaker' camp, headed by Ehud Barak; the opportunist camp, who are running just because they never found their place; and the idealist camp - the people who are here [today.]" Peretz made a direct appeal to the members of kibbutz movements in attendance. "There is not, and never will be, a group as identified with [your] historic, humanistic approach," he exhorted them. "Does a kibbutznik who lives in [a luxury building] represent the new ideal?" Peretz asked the audience, referring to Barak, who has recently come under scrutiny for continuing certain business ventures while running for Labor chairman. There was no difference, Peretz claimed, between a society that tried to put a millionaire in power and a society in which people looked out for their own interests only.