|Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On with activists 370.(Photo by: DANIELLE ZIRI)|
Meretz doubles Knesset faction from 3 to 6 or 7
By DANIELLE ZIRI
"Bibi will be Prime Minister again, but we are going to be a strong fighting opposition,” says party leader Zehava Gal-On.
The Meretz Party doubled its Knesset mandates according to exit polls released
Tuesday night, jumping from its current three seats to either six or seven.
After the results were published, party chairwoman Zehava Gal-On called for a
strong opposition bloc to counter Prime Minister Binyamin
Earlier in the afternoon she told The Jerusalem Post “I have a
good feeling that we will get about eight to 10 mandates,” as she joined young
activists giving out Meretz stickers and pamphlets outside the Ramat Aviv Mall
in north Tel Aviv.
“I’m hoping we will double or even triple our seats in
the Knesset this time. I’m very optimistic,” she said, compared to the party’s
current three seats. “I get texts from people telling me they voted Meretz and
even messages from some of the polling stations telling us there is a shortage
in Meretz paper slips. I have a feeling we will be in a good mood
After casting her ballot in Petah Tikva on Tuesday morning,
Gal-On and dozens of young Meretz supporters wearing the party’s signature green
shirt met voters in the streets and engaged in final attempts to convince
hesitant voters to cast their ballot for the party.
will be prime minister again, but we are going to be a strong fighting
opposition,” she told an undecided voter who approached her and expressed
concerns regarding the outcome of the elections, “Don’t hesitate anymore, we are
not a party that just talks and makes promises, go vote Meretz.”
the activists who chanted slogans and applauded for Gal-On, Aviv Perry and his
girlfriend, Emily Milan Eide, came to support the party for one specific reason:
its stance on civil marriage.
“I support civil marriage and Meretz is the
only party that could really take it further,” Perry told the Post. “For me
today, what matters is not how many mandates we get, it’s the fact that I get my
voice out and I express myself against the huge force of the Right.”
support Meretz because they support us being together,” added Milan Eide, who
followed Perry to Israel after they met in her homeland of Norway two years
“I’m very touched when I see so many young people and volunteers
coming out to support us, it’s heartwarming,” said Gal- On. “I think people see
in Meretz a party you can believe in.”
Meanwhile, Meretz MK Nitzan
Horowitz met supporters at a coffee shop in Rabin Square in central Tel Aviv and
explained that while he is optimistic, he anxiously awaits the final
“I’m cautiously optimistic, until the votes are really closed,
anything can happen,” he told the Post after ordering an Americano coffee with
hot milk on the side. “We’ve worked very hard over the past few months, we’ve
rallied thousands of people to help us, made big efforts, and it all comes down
to this day. Today is the day.”
Horowitz said he hopes Tuesday’s election
will strengthen Meretz and “possibly change the current leadership.
does not have to be our fate.”