Ben-Gurion's grandson: Yacimovich 'hypocritical'

Prof. Ben-Eliezer's comments came after Yacimovich spoke at memorial for Ben-Gurion in Sde Boker.

December 18, 2011 09:16
2 minute read.
Labor head MK Shelly Yacimovich

Labor chairwoman MK Shelly Yacimovich 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)


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Labor Party chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich came under attack over the weekend from the grandson of her esteemed predecessor, and Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion.

Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center Prof. Yariv Ben-Eliezer called Yacimovich’s appearance at the annual memorial for his grandfather in Sde Boker on December 4 “hypocritical” because of an article she wrote in 1986 in the now defunct newspaper Al- Hamishmar.

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“We should be spared this disgusting ceremony of bringing world leaders to the fancy grave site of a man who was even controversial in his party and who was not a visionary of the state or an ideological guru admired by everyone,” Yacimovich wrote in the newspaper that was affiliated with the labor movement.

Sources close to Yacimovich said she does not remember the article she wrote 25 years ago, long before she dreamed of filling Ben-Gurion’s shoes as head of Labor. But for Ben- Eliezer, the article remains an open wound that never healed.

Ben-Eliezer, who is director of media studies at Interdisciplinary Center’s Lauder School of Government, first revealed his objection to Yacimovich’s presence at the ceremony to a gossip columnist in Friday’s Ma’ariv.

The column had Labor Party officials talking over the weekend.

“After writing that, she either needs to apologize or not come to the ceremony,” Ben-Eliezer told The Jerusalem Post. “She came because she’s chairwoman of the party, and she needed to pose. It was the ultimate hypocrisy. You can’t kick such a symbol like B-G and then come to his ceremony as if nothing happened.

She’s condescending, rude, and pretentious, and I’m disgusted by her.”

Ben-Eliezer said that voting Labor his entire life and serving as a strategist for Labor leaders Shimon Peres and Ehud Barak, he now considered himself “homeless politically.”

In the September race between Yacimovich and Amir Peretz, Ben-Eliezer endorsed Peretz but he didn’t work for his campaign. This was not the first dispute between the party and Ben- Eliezer, who was angered when a portrait of former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin took his grandfather’s place on the wall of Labor’s faction room at the Knesset.

“I’m still angry at Labor for making Rabin the party’s symbol instead of Ben-Gurion,” he said. “Those who deny their past have no future.”

Yacimovich’s spokeswoman said in response that the Labor leader respected and appreciated Ben-Gurion’s heritage, and that in any case the article was written 26 years ago. “Beyond that, we don’t respond to gossip,” the spokeswoman added.

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