Left-wing leader considering linkup with Arab party too, ‘to have a more significant left-wing element, Jewish and Arab’ ■ Hadash rules out partnership with ‘hypocritical’ Meretz
Labor chief Avi Gabbay and Meretz leader Tamar Zandberg.Ilan Assayag, Olivier Fitoussi
Who’s in and who’s out of Israel’s new Knesset? The good, the bad and the newly unemployed
The downfall of Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked
If there’s one conclusion from the Israeli election results, this is it
The Labor Party and Meretz have been examining the possibility of a merger, with the addition of candidates from Arab parties, following a bruising election that has halved their representation in the Knesset.
No concrete proposals have been put forward yet but lawmakers in both parties may advance such a step in the near future.
>> How Israeli Arab voters saved Meretz, the Druze got payback and kibbutzniks broke tradition ■ For real change, the Zionist left must drop its sense of Jewish supremacy | Opinion
Arab-majority Hadash rejected calls to join forces “with Meretz or anyone else” for now, arguing that with the six Knesset seats its joined slate with Ta’al gained, it is “the leading and biggest party among the Arab public.” Some Labor representatives also expressed reservations about a possible merger.
Labor, with 18 seats in the last Knesset, won only six this time, while Meretz was reduced from five seats to four.
Speaking of a potential merger, Meretz chairwoman Tamar Zandberg told Haaretz that “the components for such a linkup must include Labor, Meretz and a significant Arab figure or party, such as Hadash or a part of it.”
“Israel has to have a more significant left-wing element, Jewish and Arab,” Zandberg added. “The votes Meretz got in the latest election shows that this is possible. This is the time when there is a chance for things and I intend to help them happen. We need to begin to do this now. Israeli elections are called by surprise and now is a good time to take a step.”
Both Meretz and Labor were significantly shaken and lost a core base of supporters to the Kahol Lavan party. Meretz owes at least one of its four seats to Arab voters. Zandberg said that in hindsight, her proposal to Labor chairman Avi Gabbay to unite before the elections would have been the correct move to make.
“I proposed this because I expected a tsunami. I wanted to do it not as a lifeline because we had no choice but as a part of a more significant move by the left,” Zandberg said.
Labor MK Shelly Yacimovich wrote on Facebook this week that there had to be a distinction drawn between a possible linkup between Labor and Kahol Lavan or Meretz. But another Labor lawmaker, who asked to remain anonymous, said any linkup of the party with Meretz would likely damage the party’s base of support.
“It could be that linking up with Meretz is the right move,” the lawmaker said, “but such a unification could split the Labor Party and its supporters. Labor has a significant hawkish branch that has no common language with Meretz and its messages, and such a situation could split the party.”
Another senior Labor figure said: “All talk about uniting with Meretz at this stage is too early and unnecessary. At the moment the party has to undergo a healing phase. It has to choose a new chairperson. It has to understand how to confront its core base and see how to build itself into an alternative with only six Knesset seats.”
Labor Party chairman Gabbay has made clear he intends to leave his post as soon as possible. In talks with senior party figures he confirmed that he considered resigning the night of the election as soon as the failure became clear, but he didn’t want his departure to look like he was abandoning ship.
Tal Rousso, the number two on the Labor slate, also considered dropping out of the party on Thursday in light of the party’s electoral failure, but later reneged.
In the coming days Gabbay is expected to lead discussions about whether to move up a party leadership contest, which would be held within three months, or name a temporary chairperson and have the election held at a later time. Senior Labor figures said that if there’s a decision to name a temporary chairperson the leading candidate for the job is lawmaker Amir Peretz, but Peretz has apparently not decided whether he would be interested in taking the job.
Hadash lawmaker Youssef Jabareen harshly criticized some Meretz lawmakers who opposed a bill he proposed, to define Israel a “democratic and equal” state, as an antithesis to the Nation-State Law. Their vote “exposes Meretz’s hypocrisy,” Jabareen said.
“However, we’ll keep cooperating with opposition parties for a public front, as broad as possible, against the government’s occupation and discrimination policies,” he added.
A 2018 demonstration against antisemitism in Berlin. Photo: Reuters / Fabrizio Bensch.
A slight drop in the number of antisemitic incidents in Berlin during the first half of this year is no excuse for complacency, the city’s antisemitism commissioner emphasized on Thursday following the publication of statistics for hate crimes targeting Jews in the German capital from January-June 2019.
“Antisemitism remains a serious problem that we cannot tolerate in Berlin,” Lorenz Korgel — the city’s commissioner for combating antisemitism — told local news outlet Berliner Morgenpost. “The number of antisemitic incidents remains at a high level. ”
People wear kippas at a demonstration in front of a Jewish synagogue denouncing an antisemitic attack on a young man wearing a kippa, in Berlin, Germany, April 25, 2018. (photo credit: FABRIZIO BENSCH / REUTERS)
The population of the State of Israel has increased 2.1% since last year, according to a report released in time for Rosh Hashanah by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
Today, there are 9.1 million citizens of Israel, of which some 6.7 million (74%) are Jewish, the report shows. The country’s citizens also include 1.9 million Arabs (21%) and 0.4% of “others,” including Christians and those of other minority groups.
A women holds up a sign against anti-Semitism at a rally in New York City on Sept. 22, 2019. Photo: Rhonda Hodas Hack.
JNS.org – Hundreds of demonstrators rallied in front of City Hall in New York on Sunday, calling on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and other municipal leaders, as well as those on the national level, to act against antisemitism and the wave of antisemitic hate crimes taking place against the Orthodox Jewish community.
The beach in Tel Aviv, Israel, May 17, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Ammar Awad.
On the eve of the holiday of Rosh Hashanah, ushering in the Jewish year of 5780, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics released its traditional end-of-the-year findings.
Israel’s population now stands at 9.092 million people — 6.744 million (74.2 percent) of whom are Jews, with 1.907 million (21 percent) Arabs and 441,000 (4.8 percent) listed as “other.”
Drew Seigla and Stephanie Lynne Mason. Photo: Instagram.
Drew Seigla and Stephanie Lynne Mason play Pertshik and Hodl, whose love story takes them all the way to Siberia in the award-winning show by the National Yiddish Theatre.
“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.” — Sherlock Holmes, The Boscombe Valley Mystery
“Israel must, in the most blunt and clear way possible, illustrate to Washington that the prosperity of Jordan is a first-rate Israeli security and strategic interest.” — Former head of Mossad Ephraim Halevy at “Between Jerusalem and Amman: 25 Years Since the Signing of the Peace Agreement Between Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,” Institute for National Security Studies, Sept. 25, 2019.
A thought came to mind the other day.
For all the bluster about Judaism and anti-Semitism in America, I am not convinced that far-out-left and liberal young Jews, who have been very strident and even threatening on Israel-related issues and local American political battles, have done much on the ground to confront and quash, one way or another, attacks on Jews. They have portrayed themselves as gliding along a moral highway but have permitted immoral actions to exist quite close to home, far from Gaza (did any of them recite a public Kaddish in the town square for murdered and injured Jews, or their damaged and desecrated property)?
One of the hallmark features of Yom Kippur are the communal sins which we need to repent for. Most Jews focus on what we have done personally towards G-d and towards others. Little thought is given to how we could be better as a community. Or the sins we bear as a community.
However, the communal recitation of the Al Chet, repeated over and over on Yom Kippur is to drive the point home that we are responsible for one another
Incoming freshman Member of Knesset from the leftist, Democratic Union list, Yair Golan, did it again. Golan’s constant delegitimization of his political opponents on the right, smacks of the same delegitimization that tyrants, dictators, demagogues and assorted totalitarians always use, just before the Putsch.
In that regard, he’s right when he said recently, “I’m reminding people that the Nazis came to power democratically, so we have to be careful, very careful, so that radicals with a messianic view won’t exploit Israeli democracy to replace the system of government.” Think “
As Israeli frustration mounts about violence coming out of Gaza, the idea of a ground invasion, and once and for all to finish with Hamas aggression, becomes more appealing. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has endorsed this approach, saying, “There probably won’t be a choice but to topple the Hamas regime.” While sympathetic to this impulse, I worry that too much attention is paid to tactics and not enough to goals. The result could be harmful to Israel.