“If we act correctly in the next 96 hours we will win the Labor primaries in the first round,” former Prime Minister Ehud Barak told hundreds of his supporters in Tel Aviv Thursday evening.
“Together we will bring the party and the country experience, security and victory,” he said.
“Together we will rejuvenate the IDF’s strength and deterrence, convey a firm stance against terror and present a new political horizon on all fronts.”
Turning his attention to the incessant Qassam rocket attacks on Sderot, Barak called on the government to do everything in its power to “bring security and a normal way of life back to the city and the rest of the troubled communities”.
'Ehud Barak is not perfect'
Regarding a possible face-off with Likud chairman Benjamin Netanyahu for the country’s premiership, Barak said, “We are not afraid of general elections. There is no reason to be fearful of Bibi – we have defeated him before, and we will do so again when the time comes.”
Labor Secretary-General Eitan Cabel, who resigned from the government following the publication of the Winograd report, said the March 28 primary elections are “a battle not only for the party’s future, but first and foremost for that of the entire country”.
He expressed his hope that Barak would be named party chairman after the first round, saying the former PM had “one of the best teams in Israeli politics supporting him”.
Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said, “This is not the time to settle personal scores, but a time to provide a solution for our children. We have many good candidates, but we must ask ourselves at this difficult time - when the country is fighting for its existence without a leader – who can and should take on the role of defense minister.”
Former Finance Minister Avraham (Baiga) Shochat addressed the criticism leveled against Barak, saying “we all have our faults…Ehud Barak is not perfect, but there is a salient need to vote for him”.