Yacimovich warns against ‘erasure of Meretz, the collapse of Labor’

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid and Israel Resilience Party Benny Gantz have joined forces, politicians Left and Right respond as the sands of Israeli politics shift.

Shelly Yachimovich (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Shelly Yachimovich
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Opposition Leader Shelly Yacimovich called for “a quick and in-depth examination” of a possible merger with Meretz as news of Yesh Atid merging with Israel Resilience broke on Thursday morning.
“To nay-say automatically will live in infamy,” she warned, “if the new situation will lead to the erasure of Meretz and collapse of Labor.”
Former prime minister Ehud Barak tweeted his congratulations to Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid and Israel Resilience head Benny Gantz who announced that they are merging parties ahead of the upcoming April elections.    
 
Mabruk [congratulations] to Gantz and Lapid for overcoming the obstacles and showing national responsibility," Barak wrote on Thursday morning.
Barak tweeted his support of the joining of forces, saying that it will "put Israel back on the right track" on Wednesday.
Eretz Hadasha leader Eldad Yaniv also expressed support. He said that his party will not run in the upcoming elections as now “there is a real opportunity to end the corrupt and divisive [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu's administration.” 
“We fought against him for two years straight in the street [protests],” Yaniv said. "Now, it’s your turn to defeat him at the ballot box.” 
Meretz leader Tamar Zandberg said that the union of these center-leaning parties will offer an alternative to the right-leaning Likud and hoped that this will allow for the opportunity for a center-left coalition.
"We need a left-leaning, center-oriented government, and Left means Meretz.” 
In contrast, the Shas Party slammed Lapid in a statement: "His specialty is hating Judaism and religious people."
The party pointed to Gantz's support of civil marriage and public transportation on Shabbat, before saying that “Jewish identity in the state of Israel is in danger" and that they "will fight with all our might to prevent them from forming a government."