Regardless of personal opinions about Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu,
Israelis must not be skeptical about peace talks, MK Merav Michaeli said at an
event in Tel Aviv for her supporters Sunday.
Speaking in an unusual
setting for a political event, a beachfront bar and lounge, with a sign for “Tel
Aviv Surfing Academy” behind her and the sound of crashing waves in the
background, Michaeli, the second-ranking woman in Labor, told her party’s MKs,
members and other supporters invited via her Facebook page not to lose hope for
“Maybe Prime Minister Netanyahu entered negotiations for the wrong
reasons. Maybe he himself doesn’t really know what he wants to happen
there. We can’t allow ourselves to be skeptical. We, who know that peace with
our neighbors is our number one interest, should not be too cynical and say
‘nothing will come of this,’” Michaeli stated.
“We have to support these
negotiations, even if we aren’t conducting them – and we, of course, would do a
much better job – and we have to want them to succeed,” the Labor MK added.
“Peace and justice with our Palestinian neighbors are the key to peace and
justice amongst ourselves.”
Michaeli, who became known for her feminist
stances as a print, television and radio journalist, criticized the government
for its stance on Women of the Wall, saying that despite leaving haredi parties
in the opposition, it is “trampling women’s right to pray according to their
custom at the Western Wall,” which she called “everyone’s national
“This government is just another example of secular men who
line up with haredi men when it comes to women’s rights,” she added.
Western Wall belongs to all of us!” Still, Michaeli called for her supporters
not to lose hope despite what she called an unjust and disappointing government,
Martin Luther King Jr. on the 50th anniversary of his “I
Have a Dream” speech saying she dreams of a more just and equal
“In this fight for justice, we cannot give in to hatred and
bitterness. We cannot waste our energies on antagonism and violence, and we
cannot despair,” she stated.
The Labor MK turned to her supporters and
said, “Gloria Steinem, a great American feminist, said long ago that a woman can
be either a feminist or a masochist. I say to you: You can be social activists
or masochists. If you’re here, it must show that you left masochism to other
Nearly all of Labor’s MKs, including opposition leader Shelly
Yacimovich, as well as presumed leadership candidate MK Isaac Herzog were in
attendance, drinking bubbly white wine and soft drinks and schmoozing with
Before Michaeli spoke, MK Binyamin Ben-Eliezer
(Labor) introduced her as one of the MKs who accomplished the most in her
thus-far short tenure as a lawmaker, pointing out that she has built
relationships with politicians across the political spectrum.
has a great future ahead of her,” Ben-Eliezer predicted.
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