June 28th, 2018 - Tel Aviv
Just a year ago, Avi Gabbay has become President of the Israeli Labor Party (Avoda). He then became Leader of the Opposition. During its official trip to Israel, Crif met him in the Avoda headquarter in Tel Aviv.
Crif - Last week, you have met with Crif President Francis Kalifat and official delegation during their mission in Israel. What was the main purpose of your meeting?
Avi Gabbay - The French Jewish community has always played an important role in the Zionist movement and in building the modern State of Israel. It was important for me to welcome the Crif leadership on behalf of the Labor Party, to share our vision for Israel's future with the French Jewish communal leadership. It was also a good opportunity to thank the French Jewish community for its strong commitment to Israel.
Crif - You are currently the President of the Avoda political party. What is - in a quick summary - your vision for the upcoming years in Israel, which you presented to the Crif mission?
Avi Gabbay - I believe in an Israel that maintains an aggressive security policy, takes the initiative for peace with the Palestinians, and supports a just economy where every child has the same opportunity to succeed. We have an amazing country with the smartest, most innovative people in the world and yet our government services lag far behind. The government is focused on itself rather than on the lives of the citizens. My vision is for an Israel that is the best country in the world for its citizens and that leads the Middle East militarily and economically.
Crif - During the meeting, you have expressed your appreciation for French President Emmanuel Macron. What do you like so much about his action and political attitude?
Avi Gabbay - Like Macron, I too served as a civil servant (as an economist in the budget division of the Ministry of Finance), worked in the private sector (as CEO of Israel's largest telecoms company), served as a Minister (of the Environment) and resigned from government. He is bold and believes very much in uniting the French people around common sense policies, an attitude which I believe could be helpful in Israel.
Crif - The French Olim population accounts for about 150 000 Israelis. Do they constitute a target for your political action? How do you plan to make them vote for Avoda on the next election? What is your strategy toward this population and its expectations ?
Avi Gabbay - We have a strong French Speaking Labor Party Group that is involved in all party activities and helps us communicate to the French speaking population in Israel. We will continue to educate the French speaking population of our policies and vision for Israel, and will be hosting events specifically for this community in the fall.
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