Rival parties began efforts on Monday targeting Likud MK Nir Barkat, who Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced last Thursday would be his candidate for finance minister if he forms the next government.
Both Labor-Gesher-Meretz and Blue and White released new campaign ads attacking Barkat. Labor-Gesher-Meretz's ad says its leader Amir Peretz has a "socioeconomic heart" and contrast him with Barkat, who the ad calls "capitalist pig."
לב חברתי או קפיטליזם חזירי, במה תבחרו? pic.twitter.com/D70I5imJ01— מרצ (@meretzparty) February 17, 2020
"The economic policies of Netanyahu are the policies of a capitalist pig, and he doesn't even try to hide them," Peretz said in Labor-Meretz faction meeting. "More than a decade of socioeconomic neglect has reached a peak with the decision to appoint a capitalist finance minister. They talk about a united Jerusalem. As mayor, Barkat united Jewish and Arab residents in poverty. Nir Barkat made Jerusalem Israel's capital of poverty."
Meretz leader Nitzan Horowitz announced at the meeting that if Blue and White leader Benny Gantz forms the next government, Labor-Meretz-Gesher would demand a senior socioeconomic portfolio for Peretz.
Blue and White's campaign ad said that if he became finance minister, Barkat would further divide the country between rich and poor.
ניר ברקת דרדר את ירושלים. אסור לו לדרדר גם את מדינת ישראל. pic.twitter.com/TSSOVlFXln— כחול לבן (@Kachollavan19) February 16, 2020
Horowtiz said in the meeting that Meretz does not rule out sitting with any party in a coalition Gantz would form.
Peretz said in the meeting that recent statements by Gantz that it was important for Blue and White to remain the largest party were incorrect.
"What really matters is the size of the political bloc," Peretz said, adding that he had no problem with the Joint List enabling the formation of a minority government.