Economy Minister Amir Peretz, the chairman of the Labor Party, addressed the current coalition crisis and the potential for new elections in an interview with Tal Shalev on the Knesset Channel Tuesday.
Peretz refused to state that entering the government was a mistake, "We made the right decision at the time. We stretched the rope at the State of Israel between the various populations and communities as far as it would go. We stood a moment before the people would be torn apart so we had to make a decision on what would be the better course of action. We did not have any good options, just a bad option and a less bad option."
''Today it is absolutely clear that our decision was right, since we see who the opposition is and we see such an incoherent opposition, against whom did we vote last week on the question of the Override Clause? The opposition is completely divided and we are the ones who had to stand up to prevent the situation in which Ayelet Shaked manages to pass such decisions," he said.
''If there was an opposition that was all center-left or had a social democratic worldview, then I would say I would add to it from our added value whatever it was. We knew in advance that we would be politically absorbed, but we thought that in order to prevent a fourth election we must pay the price on behalf of the citizens of Israel. If we go to a fourth election, it will reveal Binyamin Netanyahu's intentions and I think he will pay a heavy price for that.
"I believe that if Netanyahu takes the system to elections, he will lose the upcoming elections because even if there are those who do not come to vote for us, there will be many of his supporters who will not go to the polls.
Peretz said, "There is a very reasonable chance that if there are early elections we will run on a joint list with the Israeli Resilience party" of Defense Minister Benny Gantz, but stressed that this is not a merger into the party but a joint run with it, "Our presence will be very significant."
He said that he felt ideologically close to the members of Gantz's party. "It feels like I'm sitting with my friends from the Labor party."
Peretz did not deny that he asked MKs from Shas to support him in the presidential race, but refused to elaborate on the issue and said, "The role of the president is a critical role. Everything in the right and proper time."