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Labor-Meretz Alliance Forged by Fear, Not Love

17 9 0

More than being a reason to celebrate, the linkup between Labor-Gesher and Meretz is an insurance policy against a catastrophe. Their joint slate in the March 2 Knesset election doesn’t have the essential momentum of a new venture, as there was when Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz linked up with Yair Lapid, for example.

There is a reasonable possibility that the joint Labor-Gesher-Meretz ticket will get fewer seats in the next Knesset than the parties would have achieved on their own, (assuming, of course, that they would have passed the minimum 3.25 percent vote threshold separately). But they also faced the potential – and a rather catastrophic one at that – of about 150,000 left-wing votes going down the drain. That would lead to a right-wing coalition marked by corruption, immunity for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a move towards annexation in the West Bank.

>> Read more: Gantz, Netanyahu tied in poll asking Israelis who is best fit for premiershipIsraeli Labor-Meretz union is like a shotgun wedding. It may not last long | Analysis

The parties on the Zionist left have been facing an ongoing crisis of deep and wide-ranging origin that predated their current party representatives. The parties have been brutally tarnished by the right over the past two decades, to such an extent that their supporters have been forced into self-denial. And to avoid appearing crazy or, even worse, traitorous, the supporters have put aside their hope that one day Israel would have clearly defined borders and no longer be an occupier controlling a civilian population.

The energy has shifted to issues with better optics, such as LGBTQ rights, separation of religion and state and the rule of law. The left-wingers are flocking to parties that blur their foreign policy platforms to as great an extent possible. Kahol Lavan, which is home to both leftists and rightists, all of whom dislike Netanyahu, provides a refreshing, simple and convenient........

© Haaretz