haim oron 248.88.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Hatnua Hadasha-Meretz chairman MK Haim Oron is facing a rebellion.
Hundred of party members signed a petition last week calling on him to resign so MK Zehava Gal-On, No. 4 on the candidates list, could enter the next Knesset.
On Sunday, members of Meretz's Young Guard called on Oron not to resign for Gal-On's sake.
Gal-On supporters said Oron and his initiative to merge with Hatnua Hadasha were to blame for the party's drop from five to three seats in the elections. Others called on Oron to make room for Gal-On so that Meretz would not field an all-male Knesset faction.
However, Oron refused to resign, saying he had not heard women's organizations calling on women to vote for Hatnua Hadasha-Meretz last week to make sure Gal-On would be in the next Knesset. On the contrary, they called on women to vote for Kadima leader Tzipi Livni, he said.
"Meretz's crash in the elections did not happen because of you, but rather despite your willingness to lead the party," Yaniv Sagi, a Meretz Young Guard member, told Oron on Sunday.
"I don't know any other man who could have led Meretz to greater success in these elections."
Uri Zaki, who supports the demand that Oron resign, said, "The Israeli public gave Meretz a red card in these elections. Meretz in its current form has ceased to exist. This is why the argument about whether Oron needs to resign or not is irrelevant."
On Sunday, Oron spoke at a meeting of the party's management. "Petitions are not needed. A decision needs to be made by Meretz's management and I promise to respect any decision made," he said.
"I understand responsibility a little differently. For me responsibility means to act to rehabilitate Meretz. In that light I have decided not to resign," Oron said.