Yacimovich: Netanyahu's Policy on Peace Talks With PA Hurts Israel's Economy

The Labor chief criticized PM Netanyahu's handling of negotiations, says lack of movement amounts to encouraging escalation in an ever-changing region.

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
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ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

Chair of Israel's Labor Party MK Shelly Yacimovich came out against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's lack of progress on the peace process with the Palestinians on Sunday, saying that his handling of the issue is harming Israel, and that it is one of the reason's that Israel's credit rating has not been upgraded.

Speaking at a meeting of members of the Council for Peace and Security in Tel Aviv, Yacimovich said, "Netanyahu's position that if there is a continuation of the political stalemate everything will stay the same is detached from reality."

"The Middle East is volatile," she continued, "and our lack of movement does not create a lack of movement in the region, it only makes our situation worse."

Yacimovich went from diplomatic to economic issues, and said that the stalled peace process is one of the reasons that Israel's credit rating has not been upgraded this year.

"I read Standard & Poor's last credit rating report," Yacimovich said. "They have not downgraded Israel's credit rating yet, but they wrote that they did not raise it because Israel is not making enough of an effort to advance peace talks. Imagine if this actually happened, they might upgrade our credit rating."

The Labor chair criticized Netanyahu's remarks during Sunday's cabinet meeting criticising the PA's Mahmoud Abbas. "Abbas' downfall will bring us Khaled Meshal, Hamas and Hezbollah," she said. "This does not make sense. The stalemate is a tragedy that isolates us and causes us serious international harm."

Yacimovich said that Netanyahu is trying to divert the Israeli election campaign agenda from social and economic issues to defense and diplomacy.

"It is convenient for Netanyahu to leave the agenda on [the] E-1 [corridor between Ma'ale Adumim and Jerusalem]," she said. "But I am sure that you did not get up this morning and think about E-1."

"A normal person when he gets up on a regular day thinks about everything that makes up his life – education, a shelter for himself and his children, the image of society. It is convenient for Netanyahu to bring out this announcement against Abbas, which is just ludicrous. There are another few things that it is worth him talking about – the poverty report and the nurses strike - but he doesn’t want to take responsibility for this. It is easier and less of a commitment to bring out this announcement about Abbas," she added.

Shelly Yacimovich speaking at a Labor Party conference.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

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