Leftist politicians and pundits are angry at MK Shelly Yechimovich, the front runner for leading the Labor party, over her recent statements that Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are "not a crime" and for telling the truism that the first communities there were built by Labor governments.
David Merchav, a nationalist journalist and blogger, pointed out that Yechimovich's sympathetic stance toward "the settlements" is in complete contrast to her position in 2005.
In an interview with Nehemia Shtrassler in that year, Yechimovich said: "While the welfare state was being erased here, as investments in the "development towns" were halted, an alternative welfare state cropped up beyond the Green Line… It is obvious that this huge venture of conquest and occupation hurt the State's economy and its social net."
Merchav states additionally that Yechimovich recently said to him, in an interview that was never published, that she supported the expulsion of Jews from Gaza. Such a position, he said, does not jibe with her statements in favor of the settlements and needs to be explained.
Yechimovich is a former journalist and broadcaster whose leftist views were obvious in her presentation and whose penchant today is for social issues. She used her position of power in the Voice of Israel news desk to assist the Four Mothers campaign which agitated for a hurried IDF withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000. Her father was an active communist and she has admitted to voting for the communist Hadash party in 1996.