Yacimovich announces plan to run for PM

Labor leader slams Netanyahu's fiscal policies in message to supporters, saying PM wasn't "anointed king," can be defeated.

Shelly Yacimovich 311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Shelly Yacimovich 311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich announced Friday her intention to run for prime minister in an e-mail to supporters in which she slammed incumbent leader Binyamin Netanyahu.
Yacimovich’s announcement came after newly-elected Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz made it clear that his intention was to unseat Netanyahu and become Israel’s next prime minister in elections scheduled to be held next year.
The defeat of Tzipi Livni in Kadima’s primary election on Tuesday benefited Yacimovich and the Labor Party, according to a number of polls released this week, which showed Labor winning as many as 18 mandates – more than any other opposition party. Kadima under Mofaz was polled to be in line to take from 12 to 15 mandates.
While Labor was still expected to win far fewer Knesset seats than Netanyahu’s Likud in next year’s elections according to polls, Yacimovich expressed confidence that the prime minister could be defeated.
In announcing her intention to run against the prime minister, Yacimovich told supporters that Netanyahu had not been “anointed king” and it was possible to unseat him. She cited Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer’s annual report, presented to the government on Wednesday as an indictment of Netanyahu’s fiscal policies.
While the central bank’s report showed that the Israeli economy is in “good, if not excellent, shape” according to Fischer, it also pointed to the summer’s social justice protests, attributing their outbreak, in part, to the process of fiscal consolidation, which began under then-finance minister Binyamin Netanyahu in 2003.
Yacimovich said that under Netanyahu’s watch the gaps between rich and poor “grew to frightening proportions” and the prime minister’s “extreme capitalism systematically destroyed the middle class in Israel.”
The Labor leader asserted that she was the only “real alternative” to replace Netanyahu, a fact that Livni’s defeat in the Kadima primary solidified.
“Only the Labor Party under my leadership has the real and deep ideological answer, the tools, the power, the support and the ability to defeat him,” Yacimovich stated.