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Meretz campaign: The only Zionist Left party
By BEN HARTMAN
16/12/2012
“In the coming election we must choose a side and there are only two sides: right or left,” said party leader Zehava Gal-On.
 
Meretz party chairwoman Zehava Gal-On set the tone for the upcoming general elections at the left-wing party’s campaign launch in Tel Aviv on Sunday, framing the party as the only legitimate left-wing Zionist party and the only clear anti-Netanyahu choice in a field clogged with centrist parties that will jump to join a coalition with the prime minister.

“The fate of the left-wing now lies on the shoulders of Meretz,” Gal-On said, accused the Labor party of taking a rightward turn and the Tzipi Livni Party of “fleeing from the left-wing.”

She also accused the center bloc parties of “not having a philosophy, a worldview or a plan. At the end of the day, a vote for the center bloc is a vote for nothing or simply a vote for Netanyahu.”

Gal-On also said that the left-wing represents clear stances on social issues, equality, democracy, human rights and environmentalism, and that the center bloc does not represent a clear set of policies or divergence from the Right on those issues.

“There is no left-wing that is not socialist, there is no left wing that does not pursue peace and there is no concrete solution that pursues peace without supporting the return of territories along the 1967 lines,” Meretz MK Ilan Gilon said.

“We are the reddest party in terms of social issues, and we are the greenest party in terms of environmental issues,” he said.

The Meretz press conference took place in a small events hall in Tel Aviv in front of a group of a few dozen supporters. The slogans and signs on hand were consistent with the party’s platform in recent months, which portrays the center bloc and centerleft parties as afraid to express left-wing views or represent a real alternative to Netanyahu’s policy.

From the statements on Sunday, the message appeared to be clear: Meretz may win fewer mandates than the center parties in the upcoming elections, but it is the only legitimate option for left-wing Zionist Israelis fed up with the policies of the Netanyahu government.

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Meretz MK Nitzan Horowitz said that “if we have to be in the opposition in the face of another coalition led by Netanyahu, Liberman, Eli Yishai and [MK Moshe] Gafni, then we’ll fight against them.”

He added that, though the party has only three mandates in the current Knesset, it was able to accomplish a great deal and support a specific alternative, something he said it would continue to do after the coming elections.

“Meretz is your clear voice against Netanyahu, and we will continue this in the next election,” Horowitz concluded.
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