Meretz chairwoman Tamar Zandberg launches the party's election campaign, March 11, 2019.
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI)
Left-wing party Meretz will request to lead the Education and Justice ministries should a Center-Left coalition government be formed after next month’s elections, chairwoman MK Tamar Zandberg said on Monday as she launched the party’s election campaign.
“We will request the Education portfolio because parents and students in this country are crying out for a humanist education system that sees pupils as human beings, and because the most wonderful education ministers in the history of the State of Israel were education ministers of Meretz,” said Zandberg.
The party will also request the justice portfolio, Zandberg said, “because the judicial system has been led for too long by people trying to legitimize corruption in the Knesset and lawbreakers in the settlements, and because incitement against the legal system has already gone too far.”
Some 83% of Meretz’s 21,000 members backed incumbent members of Knesset and a prominent former Druze school principal in the party’s first-ever primary last month, to lead the left-wing list’s efforts together with leader Zandberg in the upcoming Knesset elections.
MKs Ilan Gilon, Michal Rozin, Esawi Frej and – for the first time – renowned Druze school principal Ali Shalalha will be among those aiming to secure election to the Knesset after securing the top five places in the party list. Ethiopian-born Mehereta Baruch-Ron is placed sixth, and will also hope to reach the Knesset.
“Israel is in need of a revolution, and there is no revolution without Meretz,” Zandberg said, revealing the party’s election slogan.
“The Center-Left government must re-initiate negotiations, lead civil equality for all and reduce the monstrous gaps in society. There is an opportunity for the government to rescue us from the strangling grip of the settlement enterprise and religionization.”
Zandberg will lead the party into a Knesset election for the first time on April 9 after she won Meretz’s first leadership primary last March, succeeding Zehava Gal-On after six years as party leader.
On Sunday, Zandberg traveled to Ramallah to meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, accompanied by Arab-Israeli MK Esawi Frej.
“We came with a message of peace to make clear that this is the State of Israel’s supreme interest, which must be at the center of the elections,” she told Abbas at his Mukata presidential compound.
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