Shelly Yacimovich at Labor HQ 311.
(photo credit: Gil Hoffman)
The Labor Party showed a strong front at its first faction meeting of the winter
Knesset session on Monday, despite reports of conflict between newly elected
party leader Shelly Yacimovich and primary rival MK Amir Peretz.
excited to be here,” Yacimovich said. “I arrived at the Knesset this morning
with a great feeling. We’re opening a fresh, new page.”
commended her fellow Labor MKs’ “productivity and commitment,” saying that the
faction is “made up of great material that will work for the good of the state
and the party.”
Peretz has spoken out against Yacimovich’s refusal to
choose a Labor Party candidate to go up against Ofer Eini in the upcoming
Histadrut elections, but he avoided the issue at the faction
“We’re a democratic party that makes agreements. When there are
arguments, we make decisions,” Peretz said. “We will prove that those who said
we’re in a crisis and falling apart were wrong.”
chairman, Eitan Cabel, called for the party to take action and instate stricter
rules for the party’s MKs, who will be required to attend a weekly strategic
“The media likes to report that we’re bickering,” he pointed
out, “but who says that bickering is a bad thing?” Cabel also said the party
should report any absences from committee meetings with an acceptable
“We need to remove the rust from our parliamentary work, so we
can be the driving force in the opposition.”
He said the first step was
the no-confidence vote Labor presented at Monday evening’s plenum
Yacimovich said Cabel’s new rules are “genius,” while Peretz
commended him on the new “air of action and discipline.”
start of the winter parliamentary session, Yacimovich said that Knesset’s recent
shift from diplomatic to social matters “is Labor’s real, authentic ideology.
The public demands accountability from its leaders on topics like education,
employment and housing, and there is no party better than us to answer the
Labor is the Knesset’s only social-democratic party, making it
the best-equipped opposition to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s neo-liberal
ideology, according to Yacimovich. She said the party must sharpen the
distinction between Labor and Likud’s economic outlook.
is our worldview,” the party leader said.
“Social justice is Labor.”