The World Union of Meretz (WUM) is the international faction of the World Zionist Organization allied with Israel’s Meretz party. There are left-Zionist groups from over a dozen countries around the world aligned with WUM; Partners for Progressive Israel is the WUM affiliate within the United States. (We’ve previously reported on a Meretz party call for a unilateral ceasefire.) This is WUM’s (slightly edited) statement, received July 16:
These are difficult days for all of us.
Israel is under attack, rockets are being fired from Gaza to cities all around the country, including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Once again, we have been dragged into this story we all know too well. Citizens in the south of Israel are constantly under rocket fire and on Tuesday, while we were sitting at Haaretz’s Israel Peace Conference dreaming of a different future and working to build hope, … rockets were fired at Tel Aviv. Since then, sirens go off regularly everyday. Meanwhile the death toll in Gaza is growing, more and more innocent civilians are dying everyday and the humanitarian situation worsens.
We all know that this new cycle of violence will not end nor eradicate any of the threats that we are facing. Fire will only bring more fire. Violence more violence. It is time to start thinking beyond immediate responses and seek for a long-term, sustainable solution that will enable us to live quietly with our neighbors. As Meretz Chairwoman Zehava Galon said: “The solution to Gaza needs to go through Ramallah; we can never overcome terrorism through brute force alone, and when we respond to terror with war, terrorism wins.”
Until then, we all hope for some quiet days.
Acting Secretary General, The World Union of Meretz
That is one sad, sorry and weak statement. More evidence that the Israeli left, as it is, bears no relationship to Meretz.
Meretz USA, irrelevant as always. Hundreds of Palestinians have been killed, most recently four children playing on a beach were targeted. And yet either in order to ingratiate themselves with people who treat them like dirt, or to rally round the tribe, the way they always do — they are dinosaurs who, like the Bundists, have written themselves out of history. They are to be pitied, even forgiven. Meretz USA — Barukh Dayyan Emet
I have to add that for Partners to actually post that statement as is shows something as well. More principled people would have either hid it in shame or posted it, but then disavowed it.
To be fair, I think the problem here is that this wasn’t actually a statement at all. It starts “Dear Friends”, so it sounds more like a letter to other pro-Meretz groups. But I agree – posting this and passing it off as a statement does a disservice to the Meretz party which deserves better.
As indicated in the introductory paragraph, this was a statement issued by the World Union of Meretz, not the Meretz party nor Partners for Progressive Israel. It was issued in a letter emailed to people around the world who are active in constituent groups within the World Union of Meretz.
In discussing this, some members of the PPI board have expressed the opinion that it was indeed weak, leaving out such important elements as the stringent closure against egress from Gaza, the economic blockade, the roundup of released Hamas prisoners in the West Bank, and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recent pronouncement against a military withdrawal from the West Bank. In its defense, WUM criticizes the notion that force, and only force, can resolve the conflict — a view not widely heard today from Jewish and Zionist quarters.
Jerry Haber and Ted have attacked us in their typically caustic way, due to their particular ideological agendas. In the meantime, PPI will be alert to statements from the Meretz party itself (albeit possibly constricted by the need to translate) and you will hear from us if we issue our own statement.
I read this blog and generally don’t agree with the commenter Ted, but I got to say that blogmaster’s answer was really nonsensical. I mean, if he’s not allowed to disagree with you guys because of his ideological agenda, then what? What other reason would he disagree with you? Another thing- why bother telling us that the statement is from a Meretz group, only to backtrack and say it wasn’t from Meretz? Confusing.
Of course Ted and anyone else is “allowed to disagree with [us] because of his ideological agenda.” That’s why we post their comments. And there’s nothing wrong with pointing out that Ted and Jerry Haber have very particular ideologies that motivate their vehemence in attacking us.
What we’ve tried to do in the intro paragraph on this post, and in the Blogmaster comment that you are questioning, is to explain the difference between the Meretz party, the World Union of Meretz, and ourselves (PPI). We are separate organizations that have some links with each other. As indicated in our earlier comment, some members of the PPI board found the WUM statement quoted here to be weak, for the reasons explained in our previous comment. Hopefully, this allays your confusion.
Let me complement Meretz Chairwoman Zehava Galon for saying, “we can never overcome terrorism through brute force alone, and when we respond to terror with war, terrorism wins.” This truth applies not only to Israel/Palestine but wherever terrorism raises its ugly head. Israel could show us a better way to deal with it, but has not done it so far.
— Tom F. Driver