Yacimovich spars with Labor activists over haredim

Lavor leader: I know it would be very popular with our voters for me to attack the haredim, but I won’t do it,

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
May 31, 2012 02:53
2 minute read.
Labor party chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich

Labor party chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

 
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Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich lashed out on Wednesday night at the committee formed by the Likud and Kadima to equalize the burden of IDF service, saying it was intended to distract the public from the country’s real problems and ensure that there would not be socioeconomic protests this summer.

Speaking at a “political cafe” of the Labor Party’s Jerusalem branch at Kibbutz Ramat Rachel, Yacimovich said drafting yeshiva students would not ease the country’s socioeconomic gaps. She said she preferred to work together with the haredim to help them ease their poverty.

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“I know it would be very popular with our voters for me to attack the haredim, but I won’t do it,” Yacimovich said.

“I think we need to be working with them and helping them enter the workforce. They want to work. The trend of more haredi women working is very impressive. We have to live together under the same sky so we need to learn to cooperate with them.”

Yacimovich faced criticism from United Kibbutz Movement project director Yoel Marshak, whose petition to the High Court of Justice resulted in it ruling the “Tal Law” unconstitutional and the current efforts to draft a replacement law.

Marshak slammed Yacimovich for not cooperating with the committee that was formed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz to address the issue, headed by Kadima MK Yohanan Plesner.

Marshak will testify before the committee on Thursday as a representative of the kibbutzim.

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“Finally the issue is being dealt with and our voice will not be heard,” Marshak complained to Yacimovich. “Our party decided on a policy of ‘one nation, one draft,’ and we need to be presenting that view to the Plesner committee.”

Yacimovich responded fiercely by saying that “the committee represents the government and the coalition. We won’t go there to grovel to Plesner and Mofaz. We don’t respect what they are doing. As the opposition, we will present an alternative to what the committee decides.”

Responding to Netanyahu’s decision to not advance the next general election, Yacimovich said Labor was more ready for the election than any other party. She vowed to use her role as opposition leader to reach out to people who boycotted past elections because of their animosity for politics.

“We are getting more and more supporters who never voted before,” she said. “That is one of our goals. We will explain to them that politics is not dirty. Politics is the way to fix things.”

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