Meretz central committee set to choose party list

MK Nitzan Horowitz's announcement last month that he would not seek reelection to the party's list gives a non-incumbent a better chance of making it into the top five and the Knesset.

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January 18, 2015 18:29
2 minute read.
Meretz's new ad campaign for the elections titled "A revolution against corruption with Meretz"

Meretz's new ad campaign for the elections titled "A revolution against corruption with Meretz". (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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The 1,000-member Meretz central committee will vote on the party’s list in Tel Aviv Monday, and the results are to be announced at 11 p.m. Monday night.

There are 23 candidates, including MKs Ilan Gilon, Michal Rosin, Issawi Frej, and Tamar Zandberg and former MKs Mossi Raz and Avshalom Vilan, who are running for the first five spots on the list.

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Frej is the only Arab candidate running, and hopes to come in second place in the primary, after the very popular Gilon. His campaign said such a result would show the party truly believes in Jews and Arabs working together and differentiate it from Labor, where Arab candidate Zuheir Bahloul ran for a special reserved spot for Arabs, and Hadash, where MK Dov Henin is in a slot for Jews.

In 2003, 2006, and 2009 Frej was elected to a spot in Meretz reserved for Arabs that was unrealistic, and only in 2013, when the spot was canceled and he ran against the other candidates, did he reach third place in the primary and become an MK.

The other candidates for the top five are Ron Shavit, a history professor, Gaby Lasky, an attorney, and Uri Zaky, former US director of B’Tselem.

Zandberg and Zaky are a longterm couple and live together, though they are not married. There have been three married couples who were MKs in Israel’s history.

MK Nitzan Horowitz’s announcement last month that he would not seek reelection to the party’s list gives a non-incumbent a better chance of making it into the top five and the Knesset.



Meretz averaged 5.6 in last week’s polls and 6.1 in the previous week.

Jerusalem city councilwoman Laura Wharton is running for one of the 5-to-10 slots, as are Tom Daromi, founder and board member of Ofek, Israel’s cooperative bank, and Rabbi Ehud Bandel, the first conservative rabbi to be ordained in Israel, among other candidates.

Bandel told the Voice of Israel Radio Sunday that he is in Meretz because of his religion and not in spite of it.

“God wants us to separate religion and state. It would not only be good for Israel but good for religion, because coercion causes alienation and even disgust,” he stated.

The rabbi also said “God wants us to seek peace,” in response to a question about dividing Jerusalem.

The fourth, sixth, and ninth places on the list are reserved for a woman. There are eight female contenders.

Party leader Zehava Gal-On ran unopposed and the committee already reelected her earlier this month.

On Saturday night, Gal- On said: “Meretz is the only left-wing party in Israel that doesn’t put on a centrist mask and isn’t ashamed of being leftwing, unlike Labor-Hatnua, which is running from being labeled as Left.”

According to Gal-On, if Meretz gets 10 seats, there will be a “revolution” and Herzog will be the prime minister in a center-left government.

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