peretz - Alon Ron - June 21 2011
Amir Peretz speaking to supporters in Tel Aviv Monday. Photo by Alon Ron
Text size

Labor Party leadership candidate MK Amir Peretz unveiled a new campaign yesterday that aims to convince Likud voters to support Labor in the next general elections.

"Likudniks are not the problem, they're the solution," Peretz told a press conference, announcing that his slogan for the party leadership race would be "New votes [which also means 'new voices'] for Labor."

"I've met Likud voters all over the country and they're far more moderate than their leaders," Peretz said. "They are prepared to make bold compromises to achieve peace; they are ready to support the release of terrorists with blood on their hands to get back Gilad Shalit.

"I want the Labor party to become the natural home for all those who live their lives in the spirit of the Labor movement."

Peretz attacked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying he had "privatized the Begin legacy," a reference to the late prime minister Menachem Begin, "and sold it for a pot of lentils to Israeli capitalists. Netanyahu has turned the Likud into a classic Republican Party, with right-wing economic positions that serve the strongest groups in the economy."

Peretz said he would work to apply a 15% inheritance tax to the top 1 percent of income earners, and said that given the state of the economy, "If we have to nationalize health services, educational services and social services, we won't hesitate to do so."