Yacimovich: coalition deal ‘political evil’

Labor head slams Mofaz as shameless liar; Meretz and Arab parties consider challenging her for leadership of opposition.

May 9, 2012 03:58
4 minute read.
Labor chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich

Labor chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz is a shameless liar, Labor chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich said on Tuesday, after being blindsided by the formation of a national unity government.

Meanwhile, the 26 MKs outside the coalition considered challenging Yacimovich for the position of head of the opposition.

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Immediately after Mofaz and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s joint press conference, Yacimovich, pale and visibly shaken, slammed the two for perpetrating the “embodiment of political evil.”

“I watched the press conference – they were very decisive, very manly. But did you believe one word that left their mouths? Was it all empty of content? Is there no meaning to promises, to someone’s word?” the Labor leader asked.

Yacimovich expressed disappointment over the “most ridiculous zigzag in the history of Israel,” saying it will be written in history books. “These old tricks are so comfortable to politicians with no responsibility to their citizens.”

Youth around the country are convinced that politics are disgusting, she recounted, but I always tell them that they are a tool of democracy, and are only bad when people are opportunistic and people forget the reason they are in the Knesset.

“What can I tell them now?” she asked.

Yacimovich called Kadima a “farce of a coalition” that “attached its corpse” to Netanyahu, and expressed certainty that together, their policies will be capitalist, cruel and increase social gaps.

She called out Mofaz’s hypocrisy for saying he will lead social protests this summer, saying “there is no limit to the dissonance between his words and reality.”

At the same time, Yacimovich expressed optimism that the public will back Labor and support its socialdemocratic ideologies over Netanyahu’s “extreme capitalist, 1980s Thatcherite” ideas, adding that “the opposition is not Siberia,” and Labor will continue to serve the nation.

“We are the only party that is an alternative to Netanyahu’s government,” she said. “Everyone who is disgusted and thinks this is not okay should join Labor.”

Later Tuesday, Yacimovich submitted her candidacy for opposition leader and will be sworn in on Wednesday, unless she is challenged.

“This is a very varied opposition, with all sides of the political spectrum, but I will do what I can. I know how to get along with everyone and have passed laws with everyone,” she said.

Yet, other parties considered fighting Yacimovich’s leadership. If the majority of opposition MKs support a different candidate, the Labor chairwoman will lose the job.

Late Monday night, after the national unity deal was revealed, several MKs from Arab parties spoke to MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz), asking if Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On would consider leading the opposition.

Throughout Tuesday, UALTa’al, Balad and Hadash attempted to find a consensus candidate, floating MK Dov Henin (Hadash) as a possibility, since he is close with Yacimovich.

At press time, neither Gal- On nor the Arab parties could give a final answer as to whether they will accept Yacimovich as opposition leader.

Despite uncertainty about their leader, all the opposition parties attacked the new national unity government.

“Mofaz has a Guinness World Record for the shortest term as opposition leader in the history of all parliaments in the world,” MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List-Ta’al) quipped.

Henin called for the public to join him at a protest titled “we are all the opposition,” in order to fight “spins and dirty tricks” by the government.

Balad released a statement saying all Palestinians must unite and fight the coalition’s attempt to weaken their national identity and and humiliate them into loyalty to Zionism by making them do national service.

Horowitz called the national unity coalition “the mother of all stinky political deals,” adding that Netanyahu lacks a conscience and Mofaz was desperate.

According to MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union), the new government is “a theater of the absurd” and bad for Israel and settlements in Judea and Samaria.

Yair Lapid, who was expected to get more than 10 seats in the next Knesset as leader of Yesh Atid, sent an email to supporters saying he understands their disappointment.

“It hurts to see how cynicism took over the entire political space and no one pretends that they care,” Lapid wrote. “Without knowing what they did, Mofaz and Netanyahu have turned us into the only alternative in the political center.”

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