Meretz chairman Zehava Galon will resign from the leadership of the party next week after it failed to pass the electoral threshold and remained outside the Knesset for the first time since it was founded in 1992, according to N12.
Two days after the elections, Galon addressed the political downfall for the first time and said in a video to voters that "this is a very difficult moment for me and my friends in Meretz. The election results are a disaster for us, a disaster for the country, and yes, also a personal disaster for me."
"This is a very difficult moment for me and my friends in Meretz. The election results are a disaster for us, a disaster for the country, and yes, also a personal disaster for me."Zehava Galon
Meretz management will convene next week, where Zahva Galon will announce what the future holds for her political career.
"Galon will remain in her position at least until the end of the year and will continue to assist and act in party matters," Meretz said in a statement.
Meretz member Esawi Frej referred to the future of Meretz during an interview with 103FM, stating that the party ran its course. "A house cannot be restored, a new house must be built. This house should include everyone who believes in the idea of a liberal left and the two-state solution."
Frej also stated that the Labor Party has "ended its historical role" as well.
Political dynamics are changing, Frej explained, "the new movement needs to be open and with a young spirit that believes that it is still possible to change. There are all kinds of contacts for it, but we still don't know who will be leading it."
"As soon as there is a leading figure, you can also formulate an idea and pass it on. Right now, on our side, in the 'Just not Bibi' camp, there is still no one person who is able to bring all of this together," Frej said.
Meretz earned 3.14% of the vote, below the electoral threshold of 3.25%. It needed just 3,800 more votes to pass that line.
“A few days before the elections, when I already knew that Meretz was in tangible danger, this very nightmare crossed my mind, of a Knesset without Meretz – [Shulamit] Aloni and [Yossi] Sarid’s party – but with [Meir] Kahane’s [ideological descendant, Otzma Yehudit, as part of the Religious Zionist Party list ].
“For this, I did what I never thought I would do again. When I saw that Meretz was in danger, I returned to the throes of politics, hoping to save Meretz and the entire bloc,” said Galon.
Who is to blame for Meretz's failure?
She added that while she realized a few days before the election that her party was in danger, Prime Minister Yair Lapid "played with fire" and did not call on voters to support her.
Despite requests from both Lapid and Galon in September that Labor and Meretz run together, Labor Party leader Merav Michaeli was the one who refused to even consider a merger.
In a press conference after the elction, however, Michaeli did not take responsibility, and blamed Lapid for convincing voters to choose a large party over a party struggling to pass the electoral threshold. Michaeli’s party will enter the Knesset with four seats, far less than the seven it had in the previous Knesset.
Eliav Breuer contributed to this report.