Yechimovich: I will fight joining the coalition

MK Shelly Yechimovich says she would fight "with all her might" a move to join Netanyahu's coalition.

Chaim Lev ,

Shelly Yechimovich
Shelly Yechimovich
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

MK Shelly Yechimovich (Zionist Union) made clear on Saturday that if talks between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the chairman of her party, Yitzhak Herzog, lead to her party joining the coalition, she would “fight the move with all my might,” as she put it.

"I will fight joining the government with all my strength. There is no scenario under which the Labor party will crawl into the right-wing government of Netanyahu,” she told Channel 10 News in an interview, adding that "there is no need to use the expression 'unity government'. This is not how a unity government looks, but rather a right-wing government. I am concerned for my party.”

Yechimovich stressed that talks between Netanyahu and Herzog harm the party, saying, “The public does not believe us that we really want to present an alternative to Netanyahu because we keep knocking on the door [of his government]."

She refused to personally attack Herzog but admitted that he has a strong desire to join the coalition.

“I believe the chairman of the party and a minority among its members have a strong desire to join the government, but I am not one of them. It would be political suicide that those who elected us do not deserve.”

Yechimovich refused to say whether she would run for the leadership of the Labor party in primaries that will be held in ten months.

"I still have not decided whether I will run for party leadership. I will decide to run only if and when I know what I will do the next day – which unions I can form,” she said.

Her comments come following reports of renewed coalition talks between Likud and the Zionist Union.

Netanyahu tried to convince Herzog to join the coalition several months ago, but the talks on a unity government reportedly fizzled over Herzog's demand for a unilateral division of Jerusalem, among other things.

Herzog rejected the reports that talks took place over the Rosh Hashanah holiday, but also refused to commit to not entering Netanyahu's coalition.

“I make decisions responsibly. Netanyahu is in survival mode, and in most cases he prefers personal interest to national interests. I take the national interest into consideration,” he said.