Meretz elected the 10 members of its list for the 19th Knesset at the Tel Aviv
Fairgrounds on Sunday.
MK Ilan Gilon won the second place in the party’s
list, followed by MK Nitzan Horowitz and feminist activist Michal
Voting began at 3 p.m., culminating in an “announcement party”
seven hours later where the results were revealed.
The 10 potential MKs
were elected out of a group of 17 candidates by 1,000 Meretz Central Committee
members for the party that currently has three Knesset seats.
stayed true to its gender equality guarantee in the top six spots on their list,
in which the fourth and sixth are saved for a woman in addition to party leader
In October Isawi Farij, an Israeli-Arab accountant from
Kafr Kasim, had announced he would compete for a spot on the Knesset list; last
night he won the fifth slot.
Candidates also included Rabbi Ehud Bandel,
former head of the Masorti (Conservative Judaism) Movement in Israel, and Tel
Aviv city councilwoman Tamar Zandberg, who in October announced that she would
be joining the party and running in the upcoming primary. Zandberg won sixth
Issues of religion and state took center stage at the primary,
where candidates set up booths in a hall outside the voting
Standing outside the ballot room and handing out flyers, Bandel
expressed skepticism that he would make it into the Knesset, but said he hopes
his candidacy would clear Meretz’s name.
“Meretz is not anti-religion; it
is pluralist and anti-coercion,” he explained.
Idan Jacobs, a volunteer
for Horowitz, said he is a former Likud member, but moved to Meretz because of
the candidate’s emphasis on marriage equality, public transportation on
Saturdays and other issues of what he called religious
Meanwhile, one of the many signs held by supporters of candidate
Tom Dromi-Hakim read: “Marry me in a civil marriage!” In its advertising
campaign for the elections, Meretz has portrayed itself as the country’s leading
left-wing party and the natural home for left-wing Israelis, with ads saying,
“Our heart is on the Left” and “Left-wingers go home (to Meretz)!” Ben Hartman contributed to this report.