MKs Gilon, Horowitz keep top spots in Meretz

2nd, 3rd spots on list for 19th Knesset given to MKs Ilan Gilon, Nitzan Horowitz, feminist activist Michal Rozen takes 4th.

Meretz Primaries 370 (photo credit: LAHAV HARKOV)
Meretz Primaries 370
(photo credit: LAHAV HARKOV)
Meretz elected the 10 members of its list for the 19th Knesset at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds on Sunday.
MK Ilan Gilon won the second place in the party’s list, followed by MK Nitzan Horowitz and feminist activist Michal Rosen.
Voting began at 3 p.m., culminating in an “announcement party” seven hours later where the results were revealed.
The 10 potential MKs were elected out of a group of 17 candidates by 1,000 Meretz Central Committee members for the party that currently has three Knesset seats.
Meretz stayed true to its gender equality guarantee in the top six spots on their list, in which the fourth and sixth are saved for a woman in addition to party leader Zehava Gal-On.
In October Isawi Farij, an Israeli-Arab accountant from Kafr Kasim, had announced he would compete for a spot on the Knesset list; last night he won the fifth slot.
Candidates also included Rabbi Ehud Bandel, former head of the Masorti (Conservative Judaism) Movement in Israel, and Tel Aviv city councilwoman Tamar Zandberg, who in October announced that she would be joining the party and running in the upcoming primary. Zandberg won sixth place.
Issues of religion and state took center stage at the primary, where candidates set up booths in a hall outside the voting room.
Standing outside the ballot room and handing out flyers, Bandel expressed skepticism that he would make it into the Knesset, but said he hopes his candidacy would clear Meretz’s name.
“Meretz is not anti-religion; it is pluralist and anti-coercion,” he explained.
Idan Jacobs, a volunteer for Horowitz, said he is a former Likud member, but moved to Meretz because of the candidate’s emphasis on marriage equality, public transportation on Saturdays and other issues of what he called religious freedom.
Meanwhile, one of the many signs held by supporters of candidate Tom Dromi-Hakim read: “Marry me in a civil marriage!” In its advertising campaign for the elections, Meretz has portrayed itself as the country’s leading left-wing party and the natural home for left-wing Israelis, with ads saying, “Our heart is on the Left” and “Left-wingers go home (to Meretz)!”
Ben Hartman contributed to this report.