Shelly Yacimovich 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich announced Friday her intention to run for prime
minister in an e-mail to supporters in which she slammed incumbent leader
Yacimovich’s announcement came after newly-elected
Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz made it clear that his intention was to unseat
Netanyahu and become Israel’s next prime minister in elections scheduled to be
held next year.
The defeat of Tzipi Livni in Kadima’s primary election on
Tuesday benefited Yacimovich and the Labor Party, according to a number of polls
released this week, which showed Labor winning as many as 18 mandates – more
than any other opposition party. Kadima under Mofaz was polled to be in line to
take from 12 to 15 mandates.
While Labor was still expected to win far
fewer Knesset seats than Netanyahu’s Likud in next year’s elections according to
polls, Yacimovich expressed confidence that the prime minister could be
In announcing her intention to run against the prime minister,
Yacimovich told supporters that Netanyahu had not been “anointed king” and it
was possible to unseat him. She cited Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer’s
annual report, presented to the government on Wednesday
as an indictment of
Netanyahu’s fiscal policies.
While the central bank’s report showed that
the Israeli economy is in “good, if not excellent, shape” according to Fischer,
it also pointed to the summer’s social justice protests, attributing their
outbreak, in part, to the process of fiscal consolidation, which began under
then-finance minister Binyamin Netanyahu in 2003.
Yacimovich said that
under Netanyahu’s watch the gaps between rich and poor “grew to frightening
proportions” and the prime minister’s “extreme capitalism systematically
destroyed the middle class in Israel.”
The Labor leader asserted that she
was the only “real alternative” to replace Netanyahu, a fact that Livni’s defeat
in the Kadima primary solidified.
“Only the Labor Party under my
leadership has the real and deep ideological answer, the tools, the power, the
support and the ability to defeat him,” Yacimovich stated.