Stav Shaffir on Labor Party Entering Netanyahu Government

MK Stav Shaffir, the #3 on the Labor Party list in Israel, has long made it clear that she opposes her party’s entry into the governing coalition headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. She is far from alone in this. Many notable Knesset Members from the Zionist Union party (which is composed of the Labor Party and the smaller Ha’Tnuah party), including #2 Shelly Yachimovich and Ha’Tnuah head Tzipi Livni among others, have made it clear that they oppose such a decision.

MK Shaffir put her statement on her Facebook page. It in Hebrew only, and I have translated it below. Any inaccuracies in translation are fully my own.

“The (Labor Party’s) entry into Netanyahu’s radical right-wing government is a betrayal of every one of our voters. A year ago, we promised them that it was us or him. At no point did we say ‘it is us and also him.’

“This ongoing, sluggish discussion embarrasses me. These talks reek of pitiable political wheeling and dealing and chasing after jobs. The current government is the worst and most devastating one in the history of this country. Unlike bad governments before it, this government not only destroys the economy, engages in political malpractice, and is careless about our security; this government is also responsible for the complete disintegration of the social fabric and the moral fiber of the Israeli people. It is a government that incites and divides.

“It is time to understand: as long as Netanyahu sits around the cabinet’s table there is no such thing as ‘change from within.’ Do not buy this lie. You don’t believe me? Ask Yair Lapid (former Finance Minister in Netanyahu’s previous government, and head of the Yesh Atid party) and Tzipi Livni (who was in charge of negotiations with the Palestinians in Netanyahu’s previous government) how they were managed. It’s also well worth checking with (Moshe) Kahlon (head of the center-right Kulahnu party, which is part of the governing coalition) how it’s going for him in his fight against the high cost of living.

“There are those in my party who say they would consider entering this government if (Naftali) Bennett (head of the far-right HaBayit HaYehudi, or Jewish Home party) was out. I’ll consider joining this government only if he takes Bibi out with him.

“The countless failures of this government must not be whitewashed. This government — and its leader — must be replaced. “