Stav Shaffir’s career could be over as Labor-Meretz deal approaches

Left-wing activists around the world want me to stay, she tells ‘Post’

STAV SHAFFIR: The world sees us as only Netanyahu, and his voice is the only voice they hear (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
STAV SHAFFIR: The world sees us as only Netanyahu, and his voice is the only voice they hear
The next Knesset could be without one of its more outspoken parliamentarians, unless a surprising, last-minute agreement is reached between Meretz and MK Stav Shaffir by Wednesday night’s deadline for lists to be submitted to the Central Elections Committee.
Shaffir has offered many proposals to Meretz, which ran together with her as the No. 2 and co-leader in the Democratic Union list in September. But Meretz leader Nitzan Horowitz has not taken her calls or agreed to meet with her.
Sources in Meretz said Shaffir will have to wait, because Meretz must first seek a deal with Labor. Labor would veto Shaffir as part of an agreement with Meretz, because she left Labor on bad terms.
Talks between Labor and Meretz could not get off the ground until Wednesday, when Blue and White leader Benny Gantz rejected Labor leader Amir Peretz’s demand for Blue and White, Labor, Gesher and Meretz to run together. On Sunday, Peretz is due to receive the results of a poll he commissioned.
Meretz postponed its party convention from Sunday to Tuesday to give more time for talks with Labor or work out a deal with Shaffir. While the press has reported that Meretz is offering Shaffir the fifth slot on their list, she has not received any offer.
After Meretz accused Shaffir of burning bridges by accusing Meretz of sticking a knife in her back, Shaffir told The Jerusalem Post in an interview that she did not regret speaking bluntly.
“We have to tell the truth even when it is uncomfortable,” Shaffir said. “If I would have kept it behind the scenes and not told the public the truth, it would have endangered our unity. We are preventing Meretz from making a mistake that would result in it not crossing the electoral threshold. We are saving Meretz. Labor and Meretz are both in danger, and there is no room to continue making mistakes.”
Shaffir said she had received countless messages from activists and young people in Israel and around the world telling her that she is needed in politics.
There is an initiative in Meretz to raise a counterproposal in the convention to freeze the Democratic Union’s current list and keep Shaffir second, just like Likud and Labor froze their lists. A source in the Democratic Union said such a proposal would make sense, because Shaffir must be credited for 48% of Labor voters in the April election casting ballots for the Democratic Union in September.
Meanwhile, Meretz chose to finalize a deal giving the third slot to MK Yair Golan, a former IDF deputy chief of staff, and keep Shaffir waiting.
“I will do everything I can to make sure I stay,” Shaffir said. “I have too much work left to do. It can’t stop because of political deals. We can’t let the public give up hope.”