Eitan Broshi
Eitan Broshi Nati Shohat, Flash 90

MK Eitan Broshi (Zionist Union / Labor) lashed out Tuesday against fellow Zionist Union MKs Merav Michaeli and Stav Shafir, on the issue of funding for the Defense Ministry's Settlement Section.

Michaeli and Shafir are vocally opposed to a bill co-sponsored by Broshi and MK Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home), for regulating the status of the Settlement Section – which is involved in the establishment and protection of communities throughout Israel, including Judea and Samaria. 

In an interview with Galei Yisrael radio, Broshi said that Michaeli and Shafir “do not understand what the Labor party is.”

"They do not understand what the settlement enterprise is,” he said, accusing the critics of the bill of inflating criticism in order to score political points in the party primaries.

"I think that the Settlement Section is very important for areas of the Negev and Galilee,” he said. “It is the only body that works in the Gaza Belt today, on a large scale.”

Broshi called the MKs "people who were never in the settlement enterprise, who were not involved in construction and in getting things done, and who never held responsible positions.”

"With all due respect,” he said, “you can't just grow up in the corridors of the Knesset. You have to do things in a responsible manner.”

"I think that if you are a member of the Labor party, you cannot be a party member without knowing its past, its roots, without having a commitment to its heritage, and I hope that those who lack that completion will do it before they come out with all sorts of talkbacks and Facebook posts.” 

Broshi – a longtime member of a kibbutz-type agricultural settlement and combat officer – is typical of the kind of MK that populated Labor benches in past decades. Michaeli and Shafir are typical of the new generation of feminist, anti-military, anti-settlement radicals that gained prominence in Labor the last decade.

Before becoming an MK, he was head of the Jezreel Valley Regional Council. He had served as CEO of the Ministry of Science, Culture and Sport; and was Assistant Secretary of Defense for Settlement Affairs during the tenure of Ehud Barak as Defense Minister. In 2011 he was instrumental in thawing a 100-unit building freeze in Elkana.