Peretz blasts Olmert, Kadima policy

In Friday interview, Labor chair defends meeting with PA President Abbas.

amir peretz biz 88 (photo credit: )
amir peretz biz 88
(photo credit: )
Labor Chairman Amir Peretz attacked Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his Kadima party during a Friday morning interview on Army Radio. "Olmert is in a state in which his policy does not serve the state of Israel. The behavior that centers on maintaining and not on creativity does not benefit Israel," Peretz said. "All of the parties are trying to imitate Labor's way," Peretz continued. "The problem is that an imitator can be successful but can never manage to be the original and thus in the moment of truth, ends up stuttering. Kadima are trying to imitate our platform, but they aren't capable of doing it because they don't believe in the way of peace." Sources close to Peretz expressed their satisfaction with his Thursday meeting with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. Kadima leaders have recently complained that Abbas has failed to take action against Hamas and that, because of that, Kadima leaders will not meet with them. In the interview, Peretz referred to statements by Kadima leaders, including Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, that Abbas was no longer relevant. "The meeting was quite relevant. Whoever allows the immediate circumstances to dictate policy gives up on his role as a public figure, whose role is to change the reality," Peretz said. "What alternative," the Labor chairman asked. "There are extremist factions in the Palestinian Authority and there is Abbas. So there are different opinions with regard to his ability and strength to enforce his decision, but what are the alternatives? To push him into the arms of Hamas? To announce that we see all Palestinians as extremist factors and that we will never sheath our swords?" Peretz added that humanitarian aid much reach Palestinians, on the condition that it will not in any way fall in to the hands of Hamas. "Abbas needs to prove that the aid which will reach him will not reach Hamas," Peretz said. "I am not na ve, but Abbas also isn't na ve and he understands that all financial assistance that reaches Hamas will act against him like a boomerang. Abbas also said that he sees terror as the number one enemy of the Palestinian people. It is possible to build humanitarian channels that will serve us well in the long-term." Peretz promised that in spite of the clear advantage that Kadima holds in polls, election day will contain a big drama. "Labor is getting stronger. I know very well how to read the situation in the field. The social questions - minimum wage, pensions for every worker, services for young couples and new immigrants - they are the factors that will decide the upcoming elections. Everybody will see that the drama that will occur on March 28 is unlike any that has occurred since [the Likud victory of] 1977."