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Yachimovich: Ignoring the Palestinian issue cost us four Knesset seats

Israel’s opposition leader and the head of Labor party claimed this weekend that ignoring the Palestinian diplomatic issue in her election campaign cost her party four Knesset seats. Yachimovich ran her campaign mostly on economical issues, in hopes of capitalizing on the social protests. She ended up with a disappointing 15 seats – a couple more than Ehud Barak got as the head of Labor but still fewer than what polls gave her.

Maariv obtained a recording of a meeting between Yachimovich and some of her supporters, in which she said:

It turns out that what Yair Lapid was able to do – not to utter a word about the diplomatic process – we don’t have the same luxury … This thing, the diplomatic agenda, which for wasn’t [the top issue] for me, neither authentically nor strategically, looking back, I estimate that we lost four seats, two to Meretz and two to Hatnuah (Tzipi Livni’s party).

“Diplomatic process” or “diplomatic issue” are code names in the Israeli political lexicon for the Palestinian issue. I believe Yachimovich was right to state that the peace process is currently meaningless. However, she conveyed the message that the entire Palestinian problem is not important. While most of the Jewish public would probably agree with her, there were some people in the Labor base for which this was a non-starter.

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    1. Giora Me'ir

      Gee, ya think?

      Hope she learned her lesson.

      Reply to Comment
    2. XYZ

      Doens’t make any sense. The parties that did emphasize the Palestinian issue, MERETZ went from 4 to 6, and HADASH stayed at 4. That is a net change of 2. Tzippi Livni’s old party, KADIMAH always emphasized the Palestinian issue had 28 going in and the two splinter parties, Mofaz’s KADIMAH got 2 and Livni’s “Tenua” got 6. So the voters weren’t looking for a party that emphasized it. Had Labor indeed talked about as in the past, they would have gotten fewer than the 15 they got.
      The fact that the “progressives” of Israel don’t seem to understand is that most Israelis don’t think the “peace process” isn’t going anywhere and most people in the world couldn’t care less about the Palestinians, the settlements, etc, etc.

      Reply to Comment
      • William Burns

        Did you even read the article, XYZ? The argument isn’t that Israeli voters as a whole were looking for more from Labor on Palestinian issues, but that traditional Labor voters were. And what “most people in the world” care about is even less relevant, as most people in the world don’t vote in Israeli elections.

        Reply to Comment
        • XYZ

          If you read carefully what I wrote, you will see that old Labor voters who supposedly cared primarily about the “peace process” did NOT vote for the parties (HADASH, MERETZ, TZIPPI LIVNI) that did emphasize it.

          Reply to Comment
      • Danny

        “The fact that the “progressives” of Israel don’t seem to understand is that most Israelis don’t think the “peace process” isn’t going anywhere and most people in the world couldn’t care less about the Palestinians, the settlements, etc, etc.”

        First of all, I’d rather be a progressive than a regressive any day of the week.

        Secondly, where do you get that most people in the world don’t care about the Palestinians? If that were the case, why is Israel putting so much effort into hasbara, and going to campuses and such? Try going on any campus in the U.S. (not to mention Europe) and mention the Palestinians and see what kind of reaction you’ll get.

        Reply to Comment
        • XYZ

          There certainly are energetic minorities that support the Palestinians…on campuses, in the European gov’ts and in the media. This is greased by Arab petrodollars. The majority is indifferent. Thus, there are difficulties for Israel if there is an activist anti-Israel minority and, at the same time, an largely indifferent majority. This indifferent majority will not necessarily take a pro-Israel position unless Israel makes its case, but I stand by what I said….most people in the world outside the Muslim countries don’t care about the Palestinians, the settlements and the such.

          Reply to Comment
    3. The Trespasser

      Yachimovitch is the most fit leader of Avoda.

      Of course no-one would leave a party led by an illiterate idiot.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Danny

      Yachimovich is a pathetic fool. She actually got rid of people like Yariv Oppenheimer and others from the peace camp who would have helped her get some of the peacenik vote. She is probably the worst politician of the last election. She should resign and go back to hosting T.V. shows.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Dima

      Hey 972mag, how long are you willing to tolerate such racist slurs by “The Trespasser” on your website?

      »Well, since “non-Whites” invested about 0.001% in modern science and culture, I would not call it “racism”«

      »Since you won’t be able to prove that entire modern civilization was not created by Whites (including Ashkenazi Jews), G-d is unlikely to curse me for telling the truth.«

      Reply to Comment
    6. Each blogger has final say on comments on his/her channel. Personally I try not to censor, except very extreme cases and harsh personal attacks though I am very close to acting on this case.

      Reply to Comment
    7. If it’s confirmed that Trespasser made those comments, I will definitely ban him from my channel.

      Reply to Comment