Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz is a shameless liar, Labor chairwoman Shelly
Yacimovich said on Tuesday, after being blindsided by the formation of a
national unity government.
Meanwhile, the 26 MKs outside the coalition
considered challenging Yacimovich for the position of head of the
Immediately after Mofaz and Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu’s joint press conference, Yacimovich, pale and visibly shaken, slammed
the two for perpetrating the “embodiment of political evil.”
the press conference – they were very decisive, very manly. But did you believe
one word that left their mouths? Was it all empty of content? Is there no
meaning to promises, to someone’s word?” the Labor leader
Yacimovich expressed disappointment over the “most ridiculous
zigzag in the history of Israel,” saying it will be written in history
books. “These old tricks are so comfortable to politicians with no
responsibility to their citizens.”
Youth around the country are convinced
that politics are disgusting, she recounted, but I always tell them that they
are a tool of democracy, and are only bad when people are opportunistic and
people forget the reason they are in the Knesset.
“What can I tell them
now?” she asked.
Yacimovich called Kadima a “farce of a coalition” that
“attached its corpse” to Netanyahu, and expressed certainty that together, their
policies will be capitalist, cruel and increase social gaps.
out Mofaz’s hypocrisy for saying he will lead social protests this summer,
saying “there is no limit to the dissonance between his words and
At the same time, Yacimovich expressed optimism that the public
will back Labor and support its socialdemocratic ideologies over Netanyahu’s
“extreme capitalist, 1980s Thatcherite” ideas, adding that “the opposition is
not Siberia,” and Labor will continue to serve the nation.
“We are the
only party that is an alternative to Netanyahu’s government,” she said.
“Everyone who is disgusted and thinks this is not okay should join
Later Tuesday, Yacimovich submitted her candidacy for opposition
leader and will be sworn in on Wednesday, unless she is challenged.
is a very varied opposition, with all sides of the political spectrum, but I
will do what I can. I know how to get along with everyone and have passed laws
with everyone,” she said.
Yet, other parties considered fighting
Yacimovich’s leadership. If the majority of opposition MKs support a different
candidate, the Labor chairwoman will lose the job.
Late Monday night,
after the national unity deal was revealed, several MKs from Arab parties spoke
to MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz), asking if Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On would
consider leading the opposition.
Throughout Tuesday, UALTa’al, Balad and
Hadash attempted to find a consensus candidate, floating MK Dov Henin (Hadash)
as a possibility, since he is close with Yacimovich.
At press time,
neither Gal- On nor the Arab parties could give a final answer as to whether
they will accept Yacimovich as opposition leader.
about their leader, all the opposition parties attacked the new national unity
“Mofaz has a Guinness World Record for the shortest term as
opposition leader in the history of all parliaments in the world,” MK Ahmed Tibi
(United Arab List-Ta’al) quipped.
Henin called for the public to join him
at a protest titled “we are all the opposition,” in order to fight “spins and
dirty tricks” by the government.
Balad released a statement saying all
Palestinians must unite and fight the coalition’s attempt to weaken their
national identity and and humiliate them into loyalty to Zionism by making them
do national service.
Horowitz called the national unity coalition “the
mother of all stinky political deals,” adding that Netanyahu lacks a conscience
and Mofaz was desperate.
According to MK Michael Ben-Ari (National
Union), the new government is “a theater of the absurd” and bad for Israel and
settlements in Judea and Samaria.
Yair Lapid, who was expected to get
more than 10 seats in the next Knesset as leader of Yesh Atid, sent an email to
supporters saying he understands their disappointment.
“It hurts to see
how cynicism took over the entire political space and no one pretends that they
care,” Lapid wrote. “Without knowing what they did, Mofaz and Netanyahu have
turned us into the only alternative in the political center.”