Yacimovich reveals wealth ahead of disclosure bill

Labor leader lists assets, then causes "tomato-gate" for bringing produce into Israel from France.

By
August 29, 2012 15:40
2 minute read.
Labor leader Shelly Yechimovich

Labor leader Shelly Yechimovich 370 (R). (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

 
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Labor chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich disclosed her property and wealth on Wednesday, after announcing that she would revive a bill requiring all politicians to do the same.

“The list is very short,” the Labor leader said in an interview with Army Radio, which she later posted on her website.

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Yacimovich owns a 78 square-meter apartment near the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv, which she purchased 12 years ago for $210,000, paid $100,000 to renovate and estimates is worth three times as much as it was in 2000.

In addition, Yacimovich has a pension fund, as well as an employee savings plan from her years as a reporter, which she said used to be worth NIS 400,000, but is now worth less than NIS 200,000.

The Labor leader plans to promote a bill she proposed in 2009, which would require MKs, ministers and local councilmen to submit annual disclosure reports detailing their investments, property or any other connections that could lead to potential conflicts of interest.

Yacimovich told Army Radio she does not have a stock portfolio, adding that it is “disgusting” for a person with influence to play the market.

“I was on the Knesset Finance Committee for six years, and I had an influence on companies that are traded in the stock market, the tax they paid, their regulation. I had a direct influence on their worth,” she explained.

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As such, Yacimovich said it would have been immoral for her to invest in stocks as a politician.

“The same certainly applies to the prime minister – he has a major influence on economic processes,” she added, referring to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s request to change his personal investment portfolio.

Netanyahu later decided not to do so, even though the State Comptroller’s Office approved the changes.

Although Yacimovich does not own any stock, she did have a tomato from France – until she fed it to her daughter yesterday.

The Labor leader updated her Facebook page upon her return from Paris, where she met with French Prime Minister François Hollande, causing an uproar over “tomato-gate.”

Yacimovich photographed the breakfast she made her youngest daughter for her first day of 12th grade, after flying home from Paris late at night: French toast, cookies from France and a tomato from France.

Several people immediately commented that it is illegal to bring vegetables from abroad into Israel.

“You should erase this post.

You’re a lawmaker who doesn’t know the law. You don’t know that you can’t bring vegetables into the country without special approval from the Agriculture Ministry?” one wrote.

Another commented: “You’re bringing tomatoes from abroad, instead of supporting Israeli agriculture? What kind of socialist are you?” Yacimovich responded: “Yes, I came back on a flight from Paris at night, and brought my daughter a nice tomato for breakfast. I didn’t know the law, and unfortunately the proof was eaten.”

The Labor leader added that she called the Agriculture Ministry, and was told that tomatoes, onions and cucumbers may be brought into Israel from Europe, but not bananas, mangos and many other fruits and vegetables.The proper procedure, Yacimovich explained after speaking with the authorities, is to bring the produce to an Agriculture Ministry representative at the airport.

“I promise I will do the right thing next time,” she added.

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