Peretz: There is no doubt Labor will win

Party chair unfazed by Friday polls showing a slide in support for Labor.

amir peretz 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
amir peretz 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Labor party chairman Amir Peretz was unfazed Friday by end-of-the-week polls that indicated a drop in support for Labor. According to a Ma'ariv Teleseker poll, Labor would only receive 19 mandates in the Knesset elections. A Yediot Aharonot poll conducted by Mina Zemach, however, showed Labor losing only one mandate, bringing the party's projected mandate down total to 22. "There is no doubt that Labor will win," Army Radio reported Peretz saying. Peretz's confidence in Labor's future was obvious in his reaction to Binyamin Netanyahu's victory in the Likud primary race Tuesday. Peretz said, "Today it was made clear that Labor is the only party that presents a real socio-economic alternative. According to Peretz, "Kadima and Likud are responsible for the destruction of Israeli welfare. Sharon and Bibi were full partners in all of the economic decrees and initiated irresponsible polices." The term "social security" has already been touted as the focus of the Labor's campaign, emphasizing Peretz's promise to give Israelis socio-economic security, a spokesman said. The official slogan will likely include some play on that term. "Some people are trying to take this campaign in different directions," Peretz declared earlier this week in a Labor faction meeting in the Knesset. "I hope nothing will happen to distract Israelis into focusing on other issues." While one Labor official stressed that Peretz would not "ignore the issue of defense," others argued that the Israeli public was becomingly increasingly wary of election campaigns that focused solely on Israel's security issues. "Security is an issue that enjoys a consensus and I will not enter in public debate over it," said Peretz. "The election campaign will be run on social issues."