Former Labor Party Chairman Amir Peretz announced that he intends to seek a second term as party chairman.
Peretz, who lead Labor in 2006, called a press conference Tuesday and announced his plans. "It saddens me to see society today. Many of the important things have been eroded. I plan on submitting an extensive plan, a social Iron Dome, to protect three major things: society, democracy and peace.
"The plan will protect individual liberties, freedom of the press and freedom of speech; it will push for a change in the system of election, bridging social gaps and bolstering the middle-class."
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Peretz, who had a controversial term as defense minister during the Second Lebanon War, said that while his time in the Defense Ministry was "not free of mistakes, I can look you in the eye and say that ego was never a consideration.
"That was a controversial war, but the majority of the public know this was a rescue war… The war brought peace to the north, the kind of peace unseen since the inception of Israel. Our plan revolutionized the IDF."
The past few years have seen Peretz – whose image suffered a major blow following the war – try to redeem himself in the court of public opinion. According to him, it is only now that he has come to realize that the public understands his past actions better, and it was this understanding that propelled his decision to seek Labor leadership.
An emotional Peretz, who was practically on the verge of tears, thanked those who are supporting his bid, adding, "I would like to thank my country and my people. I doubt that anywhere else, a kid who grew up in a transit camp and rose in the periphery, would be given the same chances as I.
"It is a privilege to sacrifice and hurt for this country. I've given back only a fraction of what I received… I thank my country and my people for giving me the opportunity to serve them."
Peretz will bid for Labor's chairmanship vis-à-vis MKs Isaac Herzog and Shelly Yacimovich.
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