"There is nothing on the Meretz platform that a haredi person, that a person who has 'yirat shamayaim', fear of heaven [cannot support]."
Following statements from Zehava Galon last week regarding Zionism and Meretz, her fellow leadership candidate Yair Golan took to Facebook to criticize her.
Zandberg will lead the party into a Knesset election for the first time in April after she won Meretz's first leadership primary in March 2018.
Meretz party chair MK Tamar Zandberg welcomed Hayun’s decision to join the party saying it would strengthen the fight for liberal and pluralist values, which she said are currently under attack.
“Putting a religious woman at the top of the list will help attract new sectors who can come if Meretz will only start reaching out to them,” the candidate said.
The party leadership race will be held on Thursday.
“The significance of me leading Meretz is that human rights aren’t just written about, they are lived.”
Seven candidates remain in the race, while the party has only five MKs.
Zandberg, 41, said she believes the time has come for Meretz to have young, new leadership after years of the press declaring the party tired, boring, and irrelevant.
The party will hold a membership drive through February 17 that will allow thousands of new people to vote in the race.