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Herzog Evokes Spirit of Yitzhak Rabin

Dec. 15, 2014 (EIRNS)—Speaking at the Israeli Labor party convention, party chairman Isaac Herzog evoked the fighting spirit of martyred Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, whose government signed the famous Oslo Peace Accords between the Israelis and Palestinians in 1993.

Declaring that he will lead the next government after the March 17 general elections, Herzog told the convention, "Since the days of Yitzhak Rabin, may he rest in peace, the party has been shrinking. We had 44 mandates then—and now we have a historic opportunity to grow and break out and bring back anyone who was lost to us along the way," he said, elaborating what the policy of his campaign will be:

"The good of the state and its citizens, the good of each and every one of this country’s residents regardless of religion, race or nationality.... The Labor Party will chart the social-economic policy of the next government and lead a clear worldview that centers on social justice, job security, decent wages to workers in all fields and sectors and above all—a life with dignity for each and every Israeli citizen. Together, we will leave no stone unturned in the diplomatic area as well, in an effort to recreate a channel of a sobered dialogue with our neighbors in order to return to the negotiating table and strive for a sustainable diplomatic agreement that is based on uncompromising security arrangements."

The convention endorsed the decision to unite with Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua party which calls for a rotating premiership. Polls are showing the new alliance could outpoll Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party.

Meanwhile, more interesting developments are taking place. Acting Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced that his party, Yisrael Beiteinu, would have no problem entering a Labor Party-led government. This prompted sharp criticism by his erstwhile ally Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which Lieberman quickly rebuffed. "Yisrael Beiteinu is a national camp and more right-wing than any other," Lieberman declared at the beginning of the Sunday Cabinet meeting yesterday. "We do not require authorization, not from Bayit Yehudi and not from Likud."

Earlier the Likud issued a statement attacking Lieberman, saying his openness to serving in a Labor-led government "proves that voting for Lieberman could send votes from the right to the left and bring to the establishment of a left-wing government. It’s clear that anyone who wants a strong and wide government led by Netanyahu, which is based on the right and right-center blocs, needs to vote for Likud led by Netanyahu."

In the 2013 elections the Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu ran on a joint ticket, but in July 2014 Lieberman ended the partnership, while still remaining in the government.