Meretz launches election campaign 370.
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
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
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.”
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
“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
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
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.”
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,”