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(photo credit: Channel 2)
New Labor member and prominent journalist Sheli Yehimovitch stressed Tuesday evening the importance of addressing a socio-economic agenda over one that is focused on security and diplomatic issues.
In a Channel 10 interview she reluctantly revealed some of her political views, which support immediate negotiations with the Palestinian Authority on the final borders of Israel and any future Palestinian state.
However, before answering those questions, she criticized her interviewers of leading the public agenda to topics that deal exclusively with security. She insisted on steering the discussion back to economic issues, making particular note of the absence of inheritance tax in Israel, which according to Yehimovitch differs sharply with the situation in all other Western countries.
Yehimovitch announced on Tuesday morning that she was quitting Channel 2 and joining the Labor party under Amir Peretz. Yehimovitch is known for her adamant socio-economic agenda.
The former host of Meet the Press said that she decided to enter politics in light of the new political environment. "For the first time in many years, Labor constitutes a real social-democratic alternative to the economic right wing that has gone on a rampage here in recent years."
She mentioned that she felt great joy when she heard of Amir Peretz's winning the Labor Party primaries, and expressed her "absolute identification with everything Amir Peretz represents."
Following a meeting between Yehimovitch and Peretz in Tel Aviv, the latter embraced the former journalist. "Sheli joined us not only to change the atmosphere and the way of handling things, but also in order to be a member in the leadership of the party and the country," he said.
According to Peretz, "I have no doubt that every woman in Israel is proud today because she knows that one of fiercest fighters of women's rights ahs entered politics."
Yehimovitch added, "The fact that Labor has chosen Peretz proves that it has an inner compass and a strong social-democratic agenda."
Despite her fame, Yehimovitch insisted she is far from being a sure-winner in the party's primaries. "Amir [Peretz] managed to convince me to join him. Now, to ensure my election, I will campaign across the country," she told Army Radio.
Yehimovitch insisted that she would not "disgrace" herself while campaigning. "I will not attend silly shows or take part in family celebrations. I will, however, communicate regularly with Labor voters on matters of essence," she said.
"I would like to remind people that I did not come from entertainment television. I have been dealing with these [social-democratic] issues for years."