Here’s an excerpt of the victory speech delivered by MK Chaim Oron (“Jumas”) after being voted in last week as Meretz party chairman in Israel. (This unofficial translation is my own; click here for the original.) It has lately become journalistic bon ton in Israel to suggest that, since the main components of the Meretz peace platform have been adopted by the mainstream, the party is no longer relevant. Jumas responds as follows:
“… I hear the voices of the cynics who doubt our relevance. What are they talking about? When the Justice Minister, backed by the Prime Minister, and with the silence of the Labor Party, causes damage to the Supreme Court day in and day out, and undermines the last defense for human rights in Israel – who will stand against him, if not Meretz?
“And when [Defense Minister and Labor Party chair] Ehud Barak, who calls himself ‘the head of the peace camp’, fails to remove settlement outposts and enables construction in the settlements, and hurts the chances for promoting the peace process – who will stand against him, if not Meretz? …
“When the economic plan, as conceived by [Likud leader, Bibi] Netanyahu, delivers blows to Israeli society, to hospitals, to schools, and to hundreds of thousands of poor children in Israel – who will stand against it, if not Meretz?
“In the fight for the character of the State of Israel, we need Meretz to be big, strong and influential. Meretz is relevant and Meretz is needed – today more than ever. “
And while we’re on the subject, here are a few more items of interest: