First Report on New Meretz Candidates

First Report on New Meretz Candidates

Avshalom (Abu) Vilan

Haaretz highlights the supposed demotion of our longtime friend, the ex-MK Avshalom (Abu) Vilan, to seventh place (along with the veteran ex-MK and peace activist Mossi Raz to eighth) on the new Meretz Knesset list.  The Haaretz writer hooks his article on the notion that this further marks the decline of the kibbutz movement (a mere 1.5% of Israel’s population) as an influence on Israeli life.  We can only express the hope that this report is exaggerated on both grounds, with poll data being fluid, and sometimes indicating a Meretz resurgence powerful enough to carry both Vilan and Raz back to the Knesset. This Haaretz article begins as follows:

The Meretz convention elected the party’s Knesset candidates last night. Currently, the party only has three MKs: after leader Zahava Gal-On, who was guaranteed the top slot, Ilan Gilon and Nitzan Horowitz were again elected to top the list. To the following three slots were selected Michal Rozin, the director of the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, Arab-Israeli accountant Issawi Frej from Kafr Qasem and Tel Aviv City Council member, Tamar Zandberg. Frej’s success was the major surprise, as only six percent of convention members are Arab, but it seems that many Jewish members thought it important to have a non-Jewish candidate with a realistic shot at getting in, despite the fact that most Israeli-Arabs prefer voting for non-Zionist Arab parties. Frej also had the endorsement of the party’s spiritual eminence, writer Amos Oz. The other two newcomers to the top six also benefited from the party’s earlier decision to ensure gender equality among its candidates.

The makeup of the Meretz list reflects the urban, middle-class character of Israel’s left-wing. Two of the top candidates (Horowitz, Zandberg) are from Tel Aviv, another two (Gal-On, Rozin) live in the nearby town of Petah Tikva, while Gilon, the folksy jam-making resident of Ashdod and Frej lend just a bit of provincial color. Gal-On has good reason to be pleased with her “dream team,” catering all at once to women, Israeli-Arabs, gays (Horowitz is the only openly homosexual in the Knesset) and young voters (Zandberg at 36).
But there is one glaring omission. Former MK Avshalom Vilan was pushed down to seventh place, widely regarded as too low on the party ticket to have a reasonable chance of securing a Knesset seat. Also, it’s the lowest spot ever occupied on a Meretz list by its most senior kibbutz member. …
By | 2012-11-13T14:33:00-05:00 November 13th, 2012|Blog|0 Comments

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