Where's the Israeli left?

Breaking news (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
Breaking news
(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
The sitting Israeli Knesset has 24 MKs of Zionist Union, which is basically the Labor Party plus Tzipi Livni and a few associates, and 5 MKs of Meretz. 

That's the parliamentary representation of the Jewish left.  

The Labor Party, in one manifestation or another, has not led an Israeli government since 2001. 

Some would put the United Arab List also on the left, but its concerns are intensely nationalistic, with some of its members occasionally over the edge of extremism. One prominent exception in Dov Khenin, whose roots are Jewish Communism and was roped into the United List when his party, Hadash (New), joined that coalition. Khenin had been as prominent as any MK in supporting environmental issues, but has been less prominent since associated with Arab extremists.

In recent surveys Labor has polled as low as 10 seats, while Meretz remains in the range of 5 or 6. There's one poll showing Labor with 17 seats, but that would depend on dumping its present leader and replacing him with a popular former head of the IDF. 
 
Likud would win 34 seats in a election according to a recent poll, up from its present 30 seats. It would reach 36 if Avigdor Lieberman joined its list. 
 
The closests party to Likud, according to this survey, would be Yair Lapid's There is a Future, with 16 seats. 
 
Despite the possibility of an indictment against Benjamin Netanyahu coming from one or more of the four major police inquiries involving him and close associates, there is no indication that Labor--together with any imaginable combination of centrist and leftist parties--could form a government to replace Likud.
Prominent in the explanation of the Jewish left's weakness is its attachment to what many Israelis have given up on, i.e., an agreement with the Palestinians.  
A recent poll shows that a majority (55 percent) of Israeli Jews support the creation of a Palestinian State, but a larger majority (78 percent) feels that the chances of such an occurrence in the next five years is either very low, or low. 
Three of Labor's prominent MKs have endorsed this view of their party's problems, and have moved to the right in the hopes of helping both themselves and their party. 
The present party leader, Avi Gabbay has endorsed the movement of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, said the city should remain undivided under Israeli rule, and opposes uprooting Jews from their homes (i.e., in the West Bank), while continuing to support a two-state solution. 
Long-time Labor MK Nachman Shai has announced his candidacy for the office of Jerusalem Mayor. Among his assertions are that the city should not be divided.  “t won’t happen. There’s resistance from all sides. It’s just a waste of political energy" He does support some kind of sharing within the city, as well as improving the conditions of both Arab and Jewish residents. He joined those praising the move of the US Embassy to the city, He also asserts  “I’m not a candidate from the left.” 
Another prominent Labor MK, Eitan Cabel, has urged his party to "sober up and push to annex settlement blocs." Cabel emphasized that Labor has led the country for just six years out of the most recent 40, and that they must shake off its adherence to the land-for-peace paradigm of the Yitzhak Rabin-era Oslo Accords. Only if Labor takes “a world view that reflects reality can it expect the public to return it to power". 
The Jerusalem Post, in its headline, said that Cabel would  "Annex the West Bank until a Palestinian Mandela Arrives.' 
The cartoonist of Ma'ariv showed Cabel toppling the dove of peace from the party pedestal, but finding himself lying damaged under the bird that he had dislodged. 
It didn't take long, for Ha'aretz to report the response to Cabel from the left side of Labor and even further left. Party MKs said that Cabel's comments were made with an eye to party primaries; that they would provoke international support for the Palestinian position; and that he had moved to the posture of the Israeli right. One party member used the term Apartheid in relation to Cabel's proposals, and a Labor Youth organization called for Cabel suspension or ouster from the party.. 
Ha'aretz columnist Gideon Levy wrote an op-ed with the title of "israel's Far-right Zionist Left." 
It’s a shame Eitan Cabel isn’t Labor Party chairman. If he were, Labor could officially state that the party has come to the end of its path.  . . .On the most critical issue the Zionist left does nothing but imitate the right’s positions. Cabel’s innovation is that these are the extreme right’s positions. Cabel and Naftali Bennett are brothers, Habayit Hayehudi and the Zionist Union are twins, there’s no longer any difference between them. The Zionist left . . . has reached the end of its path.

Levy doesn't avoid some nasty comments about Cabel's heritage. 
Only one thing terrifies the social democrat from Rosh Ha’ayin – that, heaven forbid, there will be 30 Arab MKs in the Knesset. Not for that did his parents immigrate from Yemen. Shoshana and Avshalom didn’t come here to live with Arabs. That they already had in Yemen. They and their son want a racially pure state.

Leftism on the Palestinian issue is not the only problem of the Labor Party. It's also marked by what some would call a lack of internal cohesion or discipline, and what others would call the chronic chaos of unrestrained individualism. By this view, the Labor Party isn't a party, but a loose collection of political activists who like the label but not the reality of party membership. 
There have been ten replacements of individuals as party leaders since 2000. 
It didn't take long for party activists, including MKs, to challenge Gabbay's leadership when the polls began dipping to the 10-14 seat range. More recently, Gabbay has sought to distance himself from Cabel, even though an outsider may see a good deal of overlap between their positions. 
 
Left of center Americans, i.e., most American Jews, worried about the Israeli left might also consider their own problems. Their Democratic Party that could do no better than reach his finals with the aged and limited candidates of 2016 must put itself closer to what's electable for 2020. 
Comments welcome