Three candidates to face off in Meretz race today

Gal-On re-hires security guard in face of recent threat

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
February 7, 2012 01:46
1 minute read.
Meretz MK Zehava Gal-On

Zehava Gal-On 311. (photo credit: YouTube screenshot)

 
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The 1,000 members of Meretz’s governing council will choose their new leader from among MKs Zehava Gal-On and Ilan Gilon and party activist Ori Ophir in the vote taking place today at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds.

Polls will be open from 4 to 10 p.m. Due to the party’s sophisticated computerized voting system, results are expected by 11.

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Security is expected to be tight at the event after two men in black came to Gal- On’s campaign headquarters in Tel Aviv on Monday and, according to her spokeswoman, acted in a bizarre, threatening manner.

Gal-On was accompanied by a bodyguard for two months after she received a threat to her life in December.

The guard, who left 10 days ago, will be coming back in response to Monday’s threat.

“The renewal of threats to her life will not stop her struggle for the character of Israeli democracy,” Gal-On’s spokeswoman said.

Loyalists of Gilon called the incident strange and said it sounded like a political stunt by Gal-On’s campaign.



Meanwhile, Gilon complained on Monday that Gal-On was refusing to appear on panels with him at party events and was avoiding debates with him in the media.

“We went to meet Arafat together and she won’t be with me on on TV?” Gilon said. “Either she is afraid to go against me or she doesn’t think I am worthy of being in the same studio.” Both campaigns said they were cautiously optimistic but not complacent and that they would continue calling eligible voters until the polls open.

The third candidate, 33- year-old Ophir of Kibbutz Metzer, east of Hadera, heads a group of young Meretz activists. The activists pitched a tent outside the fairgrounds on Monday under the banner “Occupy Meretz.”

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