Shelly Yachimovich to "take a break from politics"

"This is a long process that is personal and has been going on for an extended period of time," Yacimovich said.

July 17, 2019 00:47
1 minute read.
Shelly Yachimovich to "take a break from politics"

Shelly Yacimovich during a press conference to announce her decision to leave politics. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Former Labor Party leader Shelly Yacimovich announced on Tuesday that she will not be running in the September 17 election because she wants to take a break from politics for personal reasons.

Yacimovich is the third of the current six Labor MKs to announce that she will not run for the next Knesset, following former Labor chairman Avi Gabbay and his No. 2 on the list, former general Tal Rousso. None of the three has quit the current Knesset.

There has been bad blood in the past between Yacimovich and new Labor leader Amir Peretz, but she stressed in her announcement that she fully supports Peretz and Labor, and will do everything possible to ensure their success.

“This is a long process that is personal and has been going on for an extended period of time,” Yacimovich said, noting that her son persuaded her that she is no longer having an impact on the public discourse.

The former journalist expressed pride that she was never a cabinet minister and rejected every opportunity to serve under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom she called corrupt.

Yacimovich, 59, entered politics in 2006 at Peretz’s request. As Labor leader from 2011 to 2013, she brought MKs Itzik Shmuli and Stav Shaffir into politics. As a Knesset member, she passed 69 laws, mostly on socioeconomic issues.

Peretz thanked Yacimovich for her service to the country and the party, praising her social-democratic values and saying he was sure she would continue to impact the lives of Israeli citizens from outside politics.

Shaffir called Yacimovich “The No. 1 fighter for the rights of workers,” and a “super-legislator for the weak.”

At a Knesset news conference, Yacimovich said former prime minister Ehud Barak harmed the Left and the effort to replace Netanyahu by forming a new party, and urged Barak to quit the race and for Peretz to merge Labor with Meretz.

Yacimovich lamented that her departure from the political stage meant that there could be one less woman in the next Knesset, and that she was worried that the number of women in the Knesset was going down.

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