Yacimovich didn't wish to be Netanyahu's 'hangman'

Labor leader says she rejected Finance Ministry due to deep ideological divide with PM; rejects Shas leader Deri's overtures.

Labor chairwoman MK Shelly Yacimovich 311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Labor chairwoman MK Shelly Yacimovich 311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich said on Friday said that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had offered her the post of finance minister, but she did not wish to be the “hangman” of a government whose policies were in complete opposition to her party’s ideals.
Yacimovich made the comments in an interview with Channel 2, hours after Likud Beytenu signed coalition agreements with Yesh Atid and Bayit Yehudi, leaving the Labor chairwoman to lead the opposition.
She said that her refusal to join the government was not a personal slight to Netanyahu, but rather the result of deep ideological differences between the prime minister’s economic world view and that of the Labor Party. Yacimovich said she promised during the election campaign not to join Netanyahu’s government and she kept that promise.
Because of the large ideological gap, coalition negotiations between the parties did not go very far into the details, she said.
Yacimovich addressed recent public comments by Shas co-leader Arye Deri that Labor and Shas held the same socioeconomic outlook, saying that she had not “spoken to Deri in years.” The “public hug” from Deri was not to her liking, she said. While both Shas and Labor wanted the state to worry more for its citizens’ welfare, Shas was a sectoral party concerned only with its own constituents, Yacimovich said.
Asked if she would meet with United States President Barack Obama during his visit to Israel this week, Yacimovich said that while she would do all she could to meet him, since she would not be named opposition leader until a week later, Obama might rule that out.