Zehava Galon wins Meretz primary election, Horowitz drops out of Knesset

Galon beats Golan in Meretz leadership race, Raz and Rozin jump into top three, pushing him down to fifth place, and Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz crashes out of the Knesset.

 Meretz's Knesset candidates following Zehava Galon's primary victory on August 23, 2022 (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)
Meretz's Knesset candidates following Zehava Galon's primary victory on August 23, 2022
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

Former Meretz chairwoman Zehava Galon clinched the win to head the party once again, winning in Tuesday's primary election, which was called at around 10:00 p.m.

Deputy Economy Minister Yair Golan and Galon went head-to-head in the race to take over the party leadership from Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz, and 22 other candidates were attempting to finish as close to the top of the list as possible.

Galon beat Golan by 61% to the former IDF general's 39%.

Golan not only lost the leadership race, but also his place in the next Knesset, if recent polls are anything to go by.

Golan finished in fifth place and will have to rely on a strong campaign led by Galon to keep him in the Israeli parliament.

Below Galon, MK Mossi Raz jumped to the second position in the party's list for the Knesset, ensuring he retains his seat if Meretz crosses the electoral threshold. MKs Michal Rozin and Ali Salalha finished in third and fourth respectively, above Golan.

Horowitz suffered an emphatic vote of no confidence from the Meretz voters, dropping from the top spot to seventh and almost certainly out of the next Knesset. The health minister finished one spot below MK Gaby Lasky, who in April justified payments given to families of Palestinian terrorists by the Palestinian Authority. 

The finalized list is as follows: 1. Zehava Galon, 2. Mossi Raz, 3. Michal Rozin, 4. Ali Salalha, 5. Yair Golan, 6. Gaby Lasky, 7. Nitzan Horowitz, 8. Mazen Abu Siam, 9. Umaima Hamed, 10. Ayid Badar.

 Meretz's list for the upcoming Knesset elections on November 1, 2022 (credit: MERETZ) Meretz's list for the upcoming Knesset elections on November 1, 2022 (credit: MERETZ)

Zehava Galon: Meretz has come back to life

"To all those who said Meretz was on the brink of extinction: I'm here to say that Meretz has come back to life," Galon said after her victory.

"On November 1, we will see hundreds of thousands of Israeli left-wing voters vote Meretz," she declared. "The Left has been revived."

"To all those who said Meretz was on the brink of extinction: I'm here to say that Meretz has come back to life."

New Meretz head Zehava Galon
 Zehava Galon following her victory in the Meretz leadership primary on August 23, 2022 (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV) Zehava Galon following her victory in the Meretz leadership primary on August 23, 2022 (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

Golan was the first person to cast his vote at the election headquarters in Tel Aviv's "Beit Tzionei America" (American Zionists House). Following his defeat, the deputy minister congratulated Galon on her decisive victory, adding that they now share a "joint mission heading into November 1."