Former Labor chair and Union boss, MK Amir Peretz announced on Thursday morning that he is defecting Labor, resigning form the Knesset and joining Tzipi Livni's 'The Movement'.
Livni said during ajoint press conference that "Peretz will prove he can stand up for his beliefs, like he did with the Iron Dome... We are acting on the belief that it is possible to replace this government, and finally bring hope to the citizens of Israel."
While Peretz did not deny the political differences, and his strong opposition to join the next Netanyahu government, Peretz said that Labor Chairwoman, Shelly Yechimovich "always rejected my outstretched hand."
In a statement released in response to Peretz's announcement, the Labor Party suggested the step was not unwelcome. "We are relieved to part ways with a man who tried to undermine the party at the height of its success, but failed," the statement read. "Peretz's decision to join Livni won't hurt the Labor Party one bit; in fact, it will empower it and allow it to work... without being subverted from within." The party added that Livni has reached "a new political low," accusing her of "collecting 'refugees' in a manner completely devoid of ideology."
The infighting within the center-left bloc, and the defection of Amir Peretz to Livni, is nothing more than giving Livni a can of worms and giving Netanyahu a bunch of Flowers, Haaretz suggests. "The fashion and timing of Peretz's departure – less than 24 hours before the lists have to be finalized and submitted - are less than credible; but while he could take voters with him to Hatnuah, he is also bolstering its image as a collection of refugees and rejects."