Amir Peretz: I'm going to be Prime Minister

Former Defense Minister vows to retake Labor leadership, then triumph in elections.

Yoel Domb,

Amir Peretz, file
Amir Peretz, file
Miriam Alster/Flash90

Amir Peretz says he is ready to conquer the seat of Prime Minister after he recaptures the Labor party leadership. Peretz spoke to the legal journal Orech Din about his plans to win the premiership.

Peretz is convinced that the next Prime Minister will not be Netanyahu and sees himself as a worthy successor.

However, he must first garner internal support in the Labor party.

"I have begun a new journey, a journey between Afikim, Afeka, and Ofakim", said Peretz, referencing towns representing all strata of Israeli society.

"This journey is meant to break the ethnic barriers which have been created in the State of Israel, which are exploited by too many people for negative reasons. I intend to create the coalition needed to change the government in Israel. It is an opportune time now, I have no doubt that most of the residents of the state of Israel wish for a change in government, each one for his own reasons."

Peretz argues that Netanyahu has reached the stage that he has "exhausted his capabilities" and this feeling is trickling down to the public. He maintains that what is needed is unity between left and right-wing voters and the key lies with the Likud voters who he claims are much more moderate and willing to compromise than their leaders, who "compete who is more extreme among them." Peretz hopes to tempt those moderate voters from the social periphery to join the Labor party.

"I come today with a complete set of values in all areas of leadership. I was the one who placed the topic of social justice in the public eye when I served as head of the Histadrut and I initiated the central issues of minimum wages, pensions for everyone, weakening of the manpower companies, national health etc. I waged a public battle daily over all of these issues, so I am ready and have considerable experience."

Peretz says he intends to return the "ethnic genie" (an expression used to describe the tension and social disparity between Ashkenazim and Sefardim in Israeli society) to its bottle. "When I was elected leader of Labor I said that if a child who grew up in a "Ma'abara" (temporary home for new immigrants) ended up leader of the Labor party, we have buried the ethnic genie for good. Unfortunately it has arisen again lately and many politicians are exploiting it for political purposes."