Shelly Yacimovich announces run for Labor chair

Labor MK says she'll run on a social-democratic platform; Herzog says her platform would turn Labor into a "niche party."

February 28, 2011 13:53
1 minute read.

Shelly Yacimovich. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)


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Labor MK Shelly Yacimovich announced that she was entering the Labor Party’s leadership race on Monday, in an e-mail she sent some 7,000 Labor activists.

Yacimovich joined MKs Isaac Herzog and Avishay Braverman as candidates in the September 7 primary. MK Amir Peretz and Union of Local Authorities in Israel chairman Shlomo Buhbut are expected to join the race soon.

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“When I head Labor, I will advance a social democratic agenda that is socioeconomic, Zionist, responsible and fair,” Yacimovich wrote the activists.

“Only by restoring these values can we bring about hope and renewal and bring in new communities of voters from across the political spectrum.”

Mocking her rivals for emphasizing war and peace, Yacimovich said that “before we go to war to defend the state and before we make peace for its citizens, we must make sure that we will have a state.”

She said politicians who focused on diplomatic issues and not on helping people caused great damage to the state.

Asked by The Jerusalem Post what her stance was on diplomatic issues, she said she was in favor of reaching a diplomatic agreement with the Palestinians while maintaining Israeli security.

“Labor won’t merely spew slogans like ‘Two states for two peoples,’” she said. “It will have a serious diplomatic agenda.”

Yacimovich said it had been a tough decision to run, because repairing the problems in Labor would be very difficult.

“Strategists might tell me not to say this, but calling Labor a party that is seeking the premiership is to blatantly disregard reality, and being detached won’t bring victory,” she said. “Labor has to focus on rehabilitating itself and returning to its roots, and only then focus on returning to power.”

Yacimovich expressed hope that the race would be clean and not personal. But her opponents did not refrain from expressing criticism.

“I am concerned about Labor becoming a niche party,” Herzog said. “It has to be a party that has what to say on socioeconomic and diplomatic issues, and it would be under me.”

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