Labor is staying out of the coalition, because it would get empty portfolios and
not be able to promote its agenda, party leader Shelly Yacimovich wrote in an
email to Labor members on Saturday.
“We are going to lead the opposition.
The opposition isn’t a holy ends, but it is a worthy place that is essential in
a democracy, in which big changes can be made,” she explained. “We can have an
influence, lead a path, start processes, in order to create, with hard work, an
alternative to the government.”
Yacimovich added that she has experience
fighting from the opposition and was, at times, more effective than ministers,
who are held back by government unity even if they disagree with a
The Labor leader also emphasized the importance of keeping her
word – in this case, a campaign promise not to join a Netanyahu-led coalition –
when the public has very little faith in politicians.
“If we knew that we
could implement our values and influence reality from within Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu’s government, we would have dealt with the new reality, and
explained to the almost half million women and men who voted for us why, despite
the difficulties, we were pragmatic and joined Netanyahu. But that is not the
case,” she wrote.
Yacimovich also referred to the attempts to leave Yesh
Atid and Bayit Yehudi out of the coalition, explaining that Netanyahu would have
preferred a government with haredi parties and Labor, but that the prime
minister did not give her “even a hint of a reason” to join the
“There was no change in his worldview, no readiness to make
any early announcements that would show that he is not the same Netanyahu as
before,” Yacimovich wrote. “I’m talking about a change in direction that is
significant, recognizable, visible, from the path that is crushing Israeli
society, which Netanyahu has led for the last decade.”