The day after Israel’s national elections, Akiva Eldar’s Haaretz column focused upon the poor showing of Israel’s left-Zionist Meretz party. These are some of the reasons Eldar provides for Meretz’s fall from five to three (possibly four) seats:
… the more dovish circles among the traditional voters accused the party of betraying its basic principles in supporting the Second Lebanon War of 2006 and Operation Cast Lead in Gaza last month. [Actually, Meretz opposed the ground assaults in both conflicts, with a split in the ranks regarding the use of air power.– ed.] Traditional Meretz voters are unforgiving of indecisiveness and cannot disregard unnecessary wars. Some of these hardcore voters, thus, supported the even more left-wing bi-national party Hadash.
…Meretz also paid a heavy price for the fragmentation within the left wing bloc. Almost two of the seats that should have gone to Meretz went to the Green Party-Meimad and to other smaller niche parties with similar platforms, like the Green Leaf Party.
…However, it looks as though the deadliest blow was dealt in the final days before the election. The close tie in the polls between Kadima and Likud, and the campaign messages that whichever of the two would gain more seats, would be tasked with forming the next government, compelled Meretz voters, considered involved and educated citizens, to abandon their party and vote for Kadima in efforts to “rescue” Israel from a Benjamin Netanyahu-Avigdor Lieberman coalition. …