New movement shouldn't replace Meretz top 5, party members insist

"We are glad to have new people on board, but not instead of others," Meretz official says.

haim oron 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
haim oron 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Meretz members voiced opposition on Wednesday to placing representatives of the recently launched Hatnua Hahadasha (The New Move) group in top slots on the party's Knesset list. Meretz chairman Haim Oron's initiative to establish an organization of former MKs, politicians and intellectuals from the Left led to Hatnua Hahadasha being launched on Friday with the declared goal of backing Meretz and eventually joining it. In recent weeks, The Jerusalem Post has reported on several leading figures on the Left joining the organization, including authors Amos Oz and David Grossman and former Labor politicians Avraham Burg, Uzi Baram, and Shlomo Ben-Ami. But even if Meretz's parade of stars does not come close to the Likud's march of familiar faces, it has still managed to agitate some of the party's members. Meretz is scheduled to hold its primary on Sunday, and rumor has it that some Hatnua Hahadasha members could be ranked in realistic spots on the party's list. Though it is too soon to tell which members would join the party, prominent Meretz members have rejected the initiative to place them in the top five slots. "Meretz should make a decision in a democratic way on how the new members will be selected and to which spots, and it should vote on it secretly," attorney Yifat Solel, a member of Meretz's administration, said Wednesday. "If this initiative is meant to strengthen Meretz, the people who are chosen must constitute an ideological addition, and in additional spots, not spots that are occupied. We are glad to have them on board, but as an addition and not instead of others," Solel added. While Meretz MKs said Wednesday that they welcomed new supporters and partnerships, they refused to comment on the issue before the party's primary. Meretz's council will convene on December 22, and decide which Hatnua Hahadasha members will join its list, how they will do so, and in which slots.