Immediately after the Israeli elections, Meretz M.K. Abu Vilan presented an analysis of the elections to the Board of Meretz USA. He said that women in general, and Meretz women in particular, made a grave strategic mistake in shifting their vote to Tzipi Livni. He suggested that the women who did this wanted to feel that their vote made a difference but, he said, they were mistaken because the possibility never really existed to break the hold of Netanyahu and his allies who had 65 certain votes in the Knesset.
I tried to explain to Abu that the shift was not only Machiavellian on women’s part, but that they actually thought Livini was the better candidate. Remember Gila Svirsky had sent out an email saying she was supporting Livni. Could it be that women were fed up with how they were treated on the Left? Read Dafna Golan’s piece below, and comment.– Lilly
Failure of the (male) left By Daphna Golan
The women’s organizations were mistaken when they approached Meretz chairman Haim Oron to secure a high place for MK Zahava Gal-On on his party’s slate. They should have requested all three top slots for women. Because although Gal-On is a brave, committed, honest, smart and hardworking MK, she won’t bring about much-needed change. The Israeli left needs many more women for that to happen.
The failure of Meretz is resounding, and perhaps it’s high time to acknowledge that the ousting of women from its ranks is a major contributing factor; a telling fact is the large migration of Meretz voters to Tzipi Livni’s Kadima.
To read the full op-ed, click here
So far I do not regret having supported Livni. On the contrary, I’m thrilled that she shafted Bibi, getting one more mandate than he did. It did not prevent him from forging a coalition, but it did send him a message about who the voters prefer and what they are thinking.
It’s not surprising that Abu Vilan thinks Livni voters “miscalculated” – after the fall of Meretz. He has only the Meretz position on the Gaza war to blame. If Meretz had come out against the war from the very beginning, the party would have appeared more attractive. Because it supported the war, it didn’t look a whole lot different from Kadima. My only deep regret is that Zehava Galon did not get into the Knesset. If Haim Oron were a true leader, he would take responsibility for the defeat and step down. Then Zehava, who tried to save the lost honor of Meretz, could justifiably replace him.
I think it’s too early to evaluate whether a vote for Tzipi was the correct one. If she does not join the coalition, that will be a mark in her favor. If she conducts a strong pro-peace opposition, she will have fully vindicated the support of many of us.