Israel's parties of the left are uniting. Despite repeated declarations in the past few weeks by Labor Party chairman Amir Peretz that he would not join up with Meretz because such an alliance would deter voters from the right and in outlying areas of Israel whose support he sought to win, this morning, at the end of an all-night meeting with Meretz chairman Nitzan Horowitz at Peretz's home in Sderot, it was decided that Labor-Gesher and Meretz will run on a joint list for in the election for the 23rd Knesset on March 2.
A joint statement by the two party heads said that this was the most significant development in the 2020 election, and that it would ensure the ability to form a government of change and hope after it.
The order of the joint Labor-Gesher-Meretz list will be: 1. Amir Peretz; 2. Orly Levy Abekasis; 3. Nitzan Horowitz; 4. Tamar Zandberg; 5. Itzik Shmuli; 6. Merav Michaeli; 7. Yair Golan; 8. Ilan Gilon; 9. Omer Bar-Lev; 10. Revital Swid; 11. Issawi Farij.
In each ten places on the list, six will be allocated to candidates from Labor-Gesher and four to Meretz (Democratic Union).
The alliance between Labor-Gesher and Meretz comes after weeks of pressure on Peretz. At a meeting yesterday evening of the Labor Party leadership and the party's members of Knesset, Itzik Shmuli led the pressure and the attempts to persuade Peretz, and he brought all of the party's Knesset members over to his side. In the end, Peretz was forced to agree, and he invited Horowitz to his home.
The make-up of the first ten places on the joint list was agreed fairly quickly, except for a dispute over Stav Shaffir. Each side demanded that she should be included at the expense of the other, and in the end, in the absence of agreement, she was left out.
Surveys by the Labor Party indicate that a joint list with Meretz will win between nine and eleven Knesset seats. Separately, both parties were in danger of failing to pass the minimum vote threshold for winning any seats.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 13, 2020
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