Labor leader Shelly Yechimovich 370 (R).
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr met with Labor leader Shelly Yechimovich in
Tel Aviv on Wednesday, stopping the pattern of top-level international figures
who have either refused to meet with her on their Israel visits or canceled at
The meeting was not announced to the press in advance,
perhaps as a precautionary measure. Presumptive US Republican presidential
nominee Mitt Romney canceled a highly touted meeting he had scheduled with
Yechimovich last Sunday three hours before it was supposed to take
Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin and US Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton violated diplomatic protocol by skipping a meeting with
Yechimovich, even though she was then opposition leader. Labor officials have
blamed Yechimovich for lacking a diplomatic agenda and an international presence
that would make world leaders want to meet her.
Carr and Yechimovich had
a lot to talk about because they both head social-democratic parties. In a post
on her Facebook page, Yechimovich said the meeting made a big impression on
“We spoke a lot about how to get the public to believe and
understand that our worldview is the most correct for them,” Yechimovich wrote.
“He gave me a lot of good ideas. Before we parted, he said the best advice he
could give me was to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I told him people
have been telling me to shift gears, work at a less dangerous pace and take a
vacation, and he responded that they are telling me
Yechimovich has not left the country for some three years. She
is expected to go on her first trip abroad as Labor leader before the Knesset
returns from its extended summer recess in October.
declined to comment on Yechimovich’s future international travels. But there has
been speculation that she will attend the Socialist International Congress in
Cape Town that is set to begin on August 30.
A Socialist International
representative in London said she could not reveal the list of Israel’s
participants in the Congress.