Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich lashed out on Wednesday night at the committee
formed by the Likud and Kadima to equalize the burden of IDF service, saying it
was intended to distract the public from the country’s real problems and ensure
that there would not be socioeconomic protests this summer.
Speaking at a
“political cafe” of the Labor Party’s Jerusalem branch at Kibbutz Ramat Rachel,
Yacimovich said drafting yeshiva students would not ease the country’s
socioeconomic gaps. She said she preferred to work together with the haredim to
help them ease their poverty.
“I know it would be very popular with our
voters for me to attack the haredim, but I won’t do it,” Yacimovich
“I think we need to be working with them and helping them enter the
workforce. They want to work. The trend of more haredi women working is very
impressive. We have to live together under the same sky so we need to learn to
cooperate with them.”
Yacimovich faced criticism from United Kibbutz
Movement project director Yoel Marshak, whose petition to the High Court of
Justice resulted in it ruling the “Tal Law” unconstitutional and the current
efforts to draft a replacement law.
Marshak slammed Yacimovich for not
cooperating with the committee that was formed by Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu and Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz to address the issue, headed by Kadima
MK Yohanan Plesner.
Marshak will testify before the committee on Thursday
as a representative of the kibbutzim.
“Finally the issue is being dealt
with and our voice will not be heard,” Marshak complained to Yacimovich. “Our
party decided on a policy of ‘one nation, one draft,’ and we need to be
presenting that view to the Plesner committee.”
fiercely by saying that “the committee represents the government and the
coalition. We won’t go there to grovel to Plesner and Mofaz. We don’t respect
what they are doing. As the opposition, we will present an alternative to what
the committee decides.”
Responding to Netanyahu’s decision to not advance
the next general election, Yacimovich said Labor was more ready for the election
than any other party. She vowed to use her role as opposition leader to reach
out to people who boycotted past elections because of their animosity for
“We are getting more and more supporters who never voted
before,” she said. “That is one of our goals. We will explain to them that
politics is not dirty. Politics is the way to fix things.”