Livni pledges to find solutions to conversion, marriage hurdles
Kadima chairwoman meets with reps for Russian immigrants, says 'the idea is to find an answer that isn't anti-religious, but can still provide a proper solution.' On Labor's front Barak, Peretz demonstrate unity as they slam government's handling of financial crisis
Labor Chairman Ehud Barak and his predecessor Amir Peretz demonstrated rare unity on Sunday, in an effort to boost Labor supporters' morale.
In a Labor rally held in Tel Aviv, both men slammed Likud Chairman Benjamin Netanyahu and the Kadima-led treasury for they way they are addressing the financial crisis and the threat looming over the public's savings in pension funds.
Peretz called on the people to "remember who took away thousands of shekels from your salaries every month and has done nothing to protect them. Look to the Likud and to Kadima – we can't forget that for one moment. (Labor) has a clear perception of what to do and how to secure savings and pension funds."
Barak called on Labor supporters to remember that "only Labor can offer real solutions… we've been calling on Tzipi Livni and Ronnie Bar-On to come to their senses for the past three months, to lead a brave financial doctrine, to pump money into the market and to provide us with a safety net, and what did we get? Slogans and slander. What they are planning to do now is too little and too late."
The defense minister also called on Labor supporters not to be alarmed by polls predicting the party may falter in the next election, saying "We know how to put up a fight and the public knows who can give it real leadership and a chance for a better future.
"I'm not perfect. It's not hard to spot my mistakes, but I can assure you that I'm ready for the real test of leadership."
'We must find a solution for conversions'
Meanwhile, Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni met Sunday with heads of Belarus and the Ukraine immigrants' associations, the Veterans' Association and several other groups representing immigrants from the former Soviet Union, in an attempt to woo the liberal center.
Livni spoke of her negotiations with Shas, prior to the decision to call for a general election, and said that "when trying to form a government, I proved that when it comes to Shas' demands, there are some lines I'm just not willing to cross. Issues like conversion and marriage must be dealt with.
"The idea is to find an answer that isn't anti-religious, but can still provide a proper solution… The Israeli public has to realize that the question of conversions doesn’t concern only immigrants."
Kadima, she told her audience, has allotted four seats on its Knesset roster for immigrants: "Kadima has to be a party with immigrant representation. One of the problems Israel has is that none of the big parties see themselves a representing a certain sector. I may not be an immigrant, but I am committed to the sector."
Yael Branovsky contributed to this report