MK Shelly Yacimovich.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Zionist Union MK Shelly Yacimovich proved her political prowess Sunday ahead of a likely rematch for the Labor Party leadership against party chairman Isaac Herzog, who has been wounded by a probe investigating alleged campaign fund-raising violations in his 2013 contest against Yacimovich.
Yacimovich brought together hundreds of supporters at a rally at the Kibbutzim College of Education (Seminar Kibbutzim) in Tel Aviv, marking the 10th anniversary of her entry into politics and her 56th birthday.
At the outdoor event, there was a smell of marijuana smoke, and the usual political party fare of burekas was replaced by gummy bears.
President Reuven Rivlin, Likud minister Gilad Erdan, Kulanu minister Avi Gabbay, and soonto- be New York Consul-General Dani Dayan came to the event, giving it a multi-party feel. Herzog also came and listened to Yacimovich criticize him.
“Since I entered politics, being socioeconomically minded has become popular and focusing on diplomatic issues unpopular,” Yacimovich said. “But we should raise the diplomatic banner without shame. We should not say two states is a banner to raise at night and say it will happen in the future without ever being implemented. We should say without mumbling that we are in favor of peace, we are in favor of two states.”
Yacimovich came out on stage accompanied by Rivlin and his wife, Nechama, and the president praised Yacimovich for her hard work, even though they often disagree politically.
The emcees who introduced Yacimovich called her “a combination of [Democratic candidates] Bernie [Sanders] and Hillary.”
“They told me to declare something here,” Yacimovich said, but she made no political announcement.
She did, however, hint at her future by saying she “hopes for 10 even better years” and that she and her supporters “would have decisions to make in the months ahead and will make them without fear.”
Yacimovich thanked MK Amir Peretz for bringing her into politics.
He will hold his own pre-Passover toast Tuesday during which he may announce that he will challenge Herzog.