(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Former Labor Party leader Shelly Yacimovich boycotted the Zionist Union faction meeting at the Knesset Monday, protesting the continued joint leadership of MKs Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni.
Yacimovich said the bond was a temporary move intended for the March 17 election and perpetuating it was absurd.
“The continued joint leadership of Herzog and Livni castrates the opposition and has no democratic legitimacy or anything ideological behind it,” she said after a photo opportunity in which both Herzog and Livni spoke.
“We have one chairman who was chosen in a democratic election and his name is Buji [Isaac] Herzog.”
Yacimovich intends to fight against the continued joint leadership in Labor’s institutions.
Despite being framed as a move to support Herzog, Yacimovich’s fight could be the first step toward challenging Herzog for her former post.
According to Labor’s bylaws, the party must hold a leadership race within 14 months of when its chairman is not elected prime minister.
Herzog reacted to Yacimovich’s boycott, telling the faction that she had made a mistake and that he hoped she starts attending Zionist Union faction meetings next week.
“This only gives ammunition to [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu,” Herzog lamented.
Livni said she wanted the Zionist Union to act “as an opposition to Netanyahu and not to ourselves and each other.”
At the faction meeting, Herzog said there was never any plan for a unity government and reports that he had met with Netanyahu were mere political spin.
“The negotiations prove how susceptible Netanyahu is to extortion,” Herzog said.
“The coalition that will be formed will be a failure. It will be subject to extortion from day one. It will be unstable. It is doomed to failure.”
Meanwhile, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid told his faction that Netanyahu had abandoned his own ideology by agreeing to haredi (ultra-Orthodox) demands to rescind legislation on matters of religion and state that Yesh Atid passed in the last Knesset.
“Today, when a new Knesset begins its work, is meant to be a day to celebrate and a day full of hope, but it isn’t,” Lapid said. “With these coalition agreements, Israel is going backwards. In the last election, the Likud and Netanyahu received the mandate to run the country. No one questions that. But to be everyone’s prime minister, Netanyahu needs to act like it. Instead he is giving in to pressure from small sectarian parties. Instead of using taxpayer money for security, education, health and welfare, he is using that money for political bribery.”