Progressive bloggers recently met with leaders of Meretz to discuss how to revive the fortunes of the left. They suggested that Meretz is too tied to parliamentary action, that in today’s political climate of attacks on civil liberties and the Arab community, that Meretz should be out on the “street,” leading demonstrations. For example:
Itamar Shaltiel and Yossi Gurvitz said that Meretz cannot limit its work to the Knesset. The real game today is in the public arena, and Meretz is not taking part in it. We argued that Meretz should lead the protests in Jerusalem Jaffa and other places. I said that it’s not enough to vote against the Nakba law, and that they should publicly challenge such bills. Extreme right activists march in Arab towns and neighborhoods. Meretz Knesset Members can use their immunity and lead the protesters in Sheikh Jarrah into the disputed part of the neighborhood, to which the police only allows the settlers.
Former Haaretz Editor David Landau recently wrote that if the “boycott law” is passed, we should boycott the Knesset. He invited the state to prosecute him for these words. This sort of tactic, of challenging anti-democratic legislation, is very common in civil rights campaigns. But for some reason, this thinking is alien to the Zionist Left in Israel. …
Readers should click here for the entire blogpost. And for a commentary on the dangerous disconnect between Israel’s parliamentary and extra-parliamentary left, by Ron Skolnik, Meretz USA’s executive director, click here.
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