The Meretz party’s electronic bulletin this week boasted, sadly, that Meretz is the only party in Israel that has been united in defense of Israeli democracy, following the attack on the New Israel Fund and its President, Naomi Chazan. Here are sections of the bulletin:This week, we mark a full year since the Knesset elections that dealt us a sharp blow. The McCarthyist campaign of lies and hatred of the last two weeks against the New Israel Fund and … its President, Naomi Chazan, clarified the meaning of last year’s election results: A dangerous and frightening erosion of democracy in Israel.
The forces seeking to get rid of democracy are gaining ground, while many of those who should be standing guard over democracy are abandoning it. The voice of the Labor Party has gone MIA ever since it joined the Netanyahu-Lieberman government, while Kadima speaks in several tongues – a minority of Kadima figures are positive, most are silent, and some have actually joined the demagogic right-wing chorus – like Kadima MK Otniel Schneller, who wanted the Knesset to start an inquiry into human rights organizations, and Kadima MK Yulia Shamalov Berkovich, a chief agitator against the human rights groups, who spoke at a Knesset session about “enemies from within” and “those who betray the people of Israel”.
So it seems Meretz has been left almost completely alone in the parliamentary sphere in the struggle for democracy and civil rights. It’s sad and it’s scary, but it also obliges us not to give in to despair. Not to take our finger out of the leaky dike and go home, because if we’re not there, the damn will burst. […] More and more people who left us are discovering that Meretz is irreplaceable; that it was a mistake to leave people like Zehava Galon and Mossi Raz out of the Knesset [by not voting for Meretz] and electing instead Otniel Schneller and Yulia Shamalov Berkovich of Kadima, or two more Knesset members from Labor who can’t manage to decide whether they’re part of the coalition or the opposition.
So it’s not by chance that this week’s polls […] are showing a return of voters from Kadima and Labor to Meretz. It shows there’s a growing community that realizes that Meretz needs to stay strong, and that appreciates the fact that, even after the blow we took in the elections, we didn’t break, and we didn’t call it quits. We kept working and fighting.
This work needs to be kept up. And not just by Knesset members. Each and every one must do whatever he or she can. Whether that’s attending a demonstration, or speaking with people, or writing letters to the editor, or talkbacks, or even putting a link to this update on their Facebook page. Because if we don’t do it, no one else will.