Michaeli: Yacimovich trying to block my candidacy

Labor leader trying to position party as more centrist, focus on "moving past Right and Left politics."

November 5, 2012 02:40
2 minute read.
Shelly Yacimovich at Labor Central Committee

Shelly Yacimovich at Labor Central Committee 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Labor chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich has been working to block primary candidate Merav Michaeli from running, according to the latter.

Michaeli, a Haaretz columnist known for her left-wing and feminist opinions as well as her social activism, announced last week that she is running in the November 29 Labor primary.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Unlike for many other celebrity candidates in the party, Yacimovich did not hold a joint press conference or photo-op with her following the announcement.

In addition, Michaeli has expressed concern that Yacimovich will single her out and not approve her candidacy, because she has been a party member for less than the requisite six months, even though Yacimovich made exceptions for former National Union of Israeli Students chairman Itzik Shmuly, journalist Miki Rosenthal and social protest leader Stav Shaffir.

A party source pointed to Yacimovich’s coldness toward Michaeli and former Peace Now secretary-general Yariv Oppenheimer, saying it is because they are further to the Left than she has been positioning Labor.

Yacimovich’s campaign calls Labor a “Center-Left party” and has repeatedly said it wants to “move past typical Right and Left politics” and to focus on the economy.

In interviews with various news outlets, Michaeli said that in the days before she made her candidacy public, she tried to call Yacimovich. The two women are acquaintances, as the Labor chairwoman is also a former journalist, but Yacimovich screened all of Michaeli’s calls, she said.


Michaeli said she continued to call and SMS Yacimovich for five days, and then called Labor faction leader Isaac Herzog to notify him of her candidacy.

Soon after, Michaeli received a call from Yacimovich, who greeted her by saying, “Hi Honey.”

The rest of the conversation was not as sweet, according to the Haaretz columnist.

Michaeli said Yacimovich was brusque and said it was “not critical” for them to meet.

On Tuesday, Labor strategist Shalom Kital called Michaeli to discourage her from running.

She said Kital told her he is not sure Yacimovich will approve her candidacy, because there are too many journalists running in Labor, and the candidates list is insufficiently varied.

Click for full JPost coverage

Michaeli responded that she is running as a feminist and social activist.

Later that day, Michaeli attended the Labor central committee meeting, and party activists and MKs greeted her warmly.

The feminist activist also sent Yacimovich a letter asking her to approve shortening the minimum membership time to allow her to run in the primary, but the Labor leader has yet to answer.

Yacimovich’s camp would not directly respond to questions about Michaeli, saying only: “Due to the Labor Party’s great success, many candidates who are not party members have asked to join us and run.

The party’s constitution says that a candidate must be a member for six months by Election Day. Candidacy in the primary by someone who does not meet this requirement must be approved by the party secretariat. Every case will be judged individually and according to the good of the Labor Party.”

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN