Meretz slogan puts 'people at center'

Meretz unveiled its campaign slogan Monday - "Meretz on the left, people at the center" - amid hopes that it would begin to climb in the polls. "Our thinking is that every other party is trying to be 'in the center,'" said a party spokesman. "We are telling the public that we are on the left, but we put people in the middle, at the heart, of our campaign." MK Avshalom Vilan also ridiculed Kadima, Labor and the Likud for attacking each other, when all three were guilty of widespread corruption. Although Meretz chairman Yossi Beilin had argued against unilateral withdrawals in the past, a party spokesman said that the Meretz would support such moves if no partner could be found. "Meretz wants to make this country not just normal, but a good place to live," said Beilin. "If using strength against Hamas didn't get us anywhere (all it really got was Hamas getting stronger), we want to use our brains against Hamas," said a spokesman. "We are 'maniacs' for life in a normal state and democracy." Meanwhile, Shinui announced its strategic team, as it blamed former party leader Yosef Lapid for "bringing his downfall" on himself. Later Monday, Lapid announced he would be accompanying Avraham Poraz for a press conference Tuesday, were Poraz is expected to announce the party list for the Secular Zionist Party. Also Monday, MK Roman Bronfman decided not to run for the next Knesset with his Democratic Choice Party. Bronfman, who was elected to the current Knesset with Meretz, said that he decided against running because he wouldn't have passed the electoral threshold and he "didn't want to split the votes in the liberal camp or waste taxpayer shekels." Gil Hoffman contributed to this report.