Labor’s Yachimovich says she won’t join a new Netanyahu gov’t

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Labor Party head Shelly Yachimovich said she would not join a government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu and instead would serve as leader of the opposition.

Yachimovich made the announcement on Thursday during a meeting of Labor leaders and candidates.

"I aspire to be elected prime minister, but if I’m not, I will head the opposition," she said.

Yachimovich said she made her decision because Netanyahu’s Likud Party has become "radicalized" socially and economically.

She also called Yisrael Beiteinu party leader Avigdor Liberman, who is running on a joint list with Likud, "a corrupt man." The ex-foreign minister has been charged with fraud and breach of trust for advancing the position of Zeev Ben Aryeh, Israel’s former ambassador to Belarus, in exchange for information on an investigation against Liberman.

Netanyahu remains the heavy favorite to win Israel’s premiership after elections Jan. 22.
 

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