Minister Peretz Calls for Unity of Labor, Hatnua Parties

Hatnua leader Tzipi Livni previously called for unity to 'counterbalance the alliance between Yesh Atid and Habayit Hayehudi.'

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Environment Minister Amir Peretz (Hatnua) on Wednesday called for a union of the Labor and Hatnua parties, an option which had been opened by MK Isaac Herzog’s election as Labor leader, he said.

“Herzog’s election opens new options,” Peretz said in an interview with the Knesset channel, due to be broadcast this eveing. “There’s no doubt that ideologically we’re already in the same court. This could eventually lead to merging the parties.”

Peretz is a former head of the Labor Party, which he left to join Hatnua before the last Knesset elections.

About two weeks ago, after Herzog’s triumph over former Labor leader, MK Shelly Yacimovich, in a party election, Hatnua leader Tzipi Livni also called for a political alliance with Labor. She said it could counterbalance the alliance between Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid and Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett.

Livni said the alliance could hold, even if Labor stayed in the opposition. “Now that Herzog has won, Labor will no longer ignore the peace issue,” she said. “Now there’s an opportunity to form an alliance that will convey to the prime minister that there’s support not only for the peace process but for making decisions.”

“We’re still paying the price for the alliance between Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett. Theirs is a political alliance. So let’s set up a new alliance – an ideological one for a peace agreement,” she said.

Israel has six months to prevent a permanent settlement with Iran, which could turn it nuclear, “and six months to achieve a permanent settlement with the Palestinians, which would ensure that Israel is safe, Jewish and democratic,” Livni said.

Tzipi Livni and Amir Peretz (holding hands) at a Hatnua Party rally.Credit: Moti Milrod

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