Former Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Sunday welcomed the expected union between the Labor and Meretz parties, but expressed concern over the fact that Green Movement chairwoman Stav Shaffir was left out of the alliance.
Leaders of the Labor-Gesher and Meretz parties, Amir Peretz and Nitzan Horowitz, stood alongside each other as they announced their merger at a press conference held in Beit Sokolov in Tel Aviv on Monday evening.
“If you want to vote Right you can vote for Likud or Blue and White,” Horowitz said in a tongue-in-cheek manner, placing Benny Gantz’s alliance together with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing base.
It seems as if our leftist politicians have simply given up all hope, or pretense, of getting their act together.
Now they are looking to Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz, hoping he will be so kind as to stick his hand into the wading pool in which they are drowning, pull them out and sit them down nicely one next to the other.
Israeli Labor and Meretz parties are expected to discuss the possibility of running together in the upcoming Knesset election, say sources familiar with talks between the two parties.
Negotiating teams on their behalf – or the two leaders themselves – are expected to meet in the next few days, in advance of the deadline for formal submission of party slates to the Central Elections Committee, in nine days‘ time.
The leader, who has been indicted for bribery, is hysterically yet soberly and determinedly pulling out all the stops to save himself from having to face justice. In so doing, he continues endlessly to incite, to divide, to threaten to take credit for others’ achievements and to lie. He and his family are prepared to burn down the house, and with it the norms of public life in Israel. A century ago, the Irish poet W. B. Yeats bewailed the blindness of leaders who brought on the apocalypse of World War I:
“The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”
Speaking to the press in Tel Aviv, the three leaders of the Democratic Union – MK Nitzan Horowitz, MK Stav Shaffir and former prime minister Ehud Barak – also took Blue and White to task for what they described as its right-wing policies, arguing that the party would not replace, but instead participate in, a right-wing government.
Horowitz said the party would be left-wing and proud, and would not join any right-wing government, even one not led by Netanyahu. The top goal of the party in the agreement its leaders signed was reaching a peace agreement.
“The Israeli Left has returned to be large and influential, and the days of kissing up to the Right are over,” he promised.
The committee is set to vote on its leader on June 27 and its list on July 11. The two votes will be held within the party committee, which has about 1,000 members.
The faction made the decision after 60 percent of the party voted against motions to hold open primaries or to freeze the current list.
That decision was seen as a failure for Zandberg, and for the current list of candidates, whose posts are now in jeopardy.
Current Meretz chair MK Tamar Zandberg faces at least one challenger in former party MK Nitzan Horowitz who announced he was running for the party chairmanship last week.
The Meretz convention also voted against a proposal to institute two party chairmen, an idea designed to allow a Jewish and an Arab leader of the party.