Zionist Union Legislator Blasts Own Party for Failing to Challenge Netanyahu

MK Stav Shaffir criticizes the failure to highlight the alleged negotiations with Hamas, people who were present at a meeting say.

Moti Milrod

MK Stav Shaffir (Zionist Union) said over the weekend her party had failed to wage an effective campaign against the security policies of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, sources said.

Shaffir criticized the Zionist Union leadership at a meeting of young activists, participants said. The meeting was closed to reporters.

Alluding to media reports that Israel was negotiating with Hamas, Shaffir reportedly said “the fact that the opposition hasn’t conducted an effective public campaign against Netanyahu’s policy and the fact that most of the public isn’t even aware of the negotiations with Hamas are a first-rate leadership failure.”

“The Zionist Union’s biggest election-campaign mistake was not putting the security issue at the forefront,” a person at the meeting quoted her as saying.

She reportedly said: “The left will not regain the country's leadership until it leads a clear agenda on security and peace that will expose the true face of Netanyahu’s government," adding that the entire Israeli defense leadership objects to Netanyahu’s security policy, which generates “strategic and security risks.”

Referring to the dueling op-eds in Haaretz between Zionist Union chief Isaac Herzog and columnist Gideon Levy, Shaffir reportedly said “the strategy of attacking the tiny, non-Zionist, irrelevant fringes of the left is flawed. The party’s historic role is to create a clear alternative to the right.”

She also criticized the party’s practice of reserving slots for women on its Knesset ticket: “Reserving places for women, two in every group of 10, has created a culture of giving women fewer votes and has damaged the cooperation among the amazing women in our party.”