Labor revealed its election campaign centered around the slogan “Bibi is good
for the rich – Shelly is good for you” on Sunday, continuing its focus on social
issues, while former prime minister Ehud Olmert and Habayit Hayehudi slammed
Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich’s economic plan.
“This is the topic that
brought us where we are today, brought [Yacimovich] where she is today, and will
bring us a higher number of seats” in the next Knesset, MK Eitan Cabel said of
the party’s top issue.
MK Isaac Herzog – first on the Labor list after
Yacimovich – Cabel and candidate and former National Union of Israeli Students
chairman Itzik Shmuly presented the messages that Labor will spread in the
coming weeks, at the party’s campaign headquarters in Tel Aviv.
compared Labor’s campaign to Hanukka, which he said “represents the victory of
spirit over materialism,” and compared the party’s list for the Knesset to a
Hanukka song with the line: “Each one is a small light, and together we are a
Shmuly, a former leader of the 2011 social protests,
called for “what started in the streets to end at the voting
booth. That’s how you make a change in a democratic society,” he
“[Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu didn’t make changes, so
he must go, and Labor is the only real alternative.”
“Our slogan isn’t
overly clever. We don’t need a message like that. We tell the public the simple
truth, what they’re feeling in their gut,” he said.
Yacimovich’s economic plan with “difficult economic decrees” he said Netanyahu
plans to pass after the election.
“This time, Israelis must go to the
ballots based on a socioeconomic agenda,” he said.
According to Labor’s
strategic adviser Shalom Kittal, the party is not using the campaign to create
an agenda; rather, the campaign was created based on existing socioeconomic
Kittal pointed to research by American strategist Stanley
Greenberg for Labor, which showed that 53 percent of Israelis say socioeconomic
issues are most important to them in voting, while only 32% chose peace as their
As for the party’s slogan, billboards and buses, but is also planning an “open source” campaign, letting
the public choose its own messages.
Labor plans to launch a website and
smartphone apps allowing users to add a message to a banner that says “Shelly is
good for you.” Users will be able to download the graphic for free to upload to
social media, or pay for a bumper sticker, T-shirt or banner.
former Labor MK Amir Peretz’s surprise departure to The Tzipi Livni Party on
Thursday, Cabel said that “the story is over.”
“My friends and I will not
talk about [Peretz] anymore. We will not deal with parties in the
Center-Left; we are focusing on toppling Netanyahu,” he added.
Sunday, Olmert called Labor’s economic plan “superficial populism” at an
“A month and a half before the election, we see
politicians saying, ‘Hurt business and save the economy.’ It’s popular, and if
you say take money from the rich, it’s even more popular,” he said. “There is no
economic growth in a country without vibrant businesses that have a chance of
In addition, Olmert slammed Yacimovich’s plan for
proposing an annual NIS 28 billion increase in the deficit over the next five
years, saying the government is supposed to try to cut spending.
proposals are superficial populism and irresponsible,” he stated.
Hayehudi pointed to the Labor slogan, saying that Netanyahu’s connections to
“tycoons” is disturbing, but Yacimovich is just as committed to unions, and as
such, cannot bring a solution to economic problems.
Hayehudi, which is not committed to tycoons or to labor unions, can keep balance
in the market without harming the nation’s interest,” a party spokesman said.
“Yacimovich’s plan, to spend another NIS 138 billion, will lead to mass
unemployment. Even in election season, responsibility is necessary,” the
Labor responded to the criticism, saying it does not
hate the rich and encourages business, works to increase competition in the
market and help most Israeli citizens.
“It is not coincidental that
Olmert, who over years connected the rich to the government and let hundreds of
millions of shekels flow into the pockets of the rich, is now standing by them,”
a party spokesman said. “As someone convicted of breach of trust and who kept
envelopes of dollars on him, Olmert should avoid speaking about these topics and
disappear from Israeli public life.”