A brief report in Haaretz this week created the erroneous impression that the Meretz party had gone over to a war footing, and was supporting a full-scale invasion of the Gaza Strip.
Here’s a clarification received from the World Union of Meretz, based in Israel:
- Chaim Oron, Meretz chair, calls for talks with Hamas and says that politicians must stop talking about a wide-scale operation in
Gaza, which will only cause Israel‘to sink into mud much deeper than the one in ‘. Oron also thinks that, “Concrete negotiations for a ceasefire, as fragile as it is and as long as it is not a long-term solution, are preferable over an exchange of mutual accusations which will only worsen.” As a response to the heavy missile-shooting on Wednesday, December 24 on the northern Negev population in the vicinity of Gaza and Sderot, Meretz backs a limited operation against Hamas and says: “There’s no other choice but to hit Hamas in a focused operation and work for a renewed ceasefire”. Lebanon
The Meretz party’s website reports similarly (in Hebrew): In response to the Kassem rocket attacks on Israeli settlements near Gaza, party chair Chaim Oron stated that Israel is obliged to protect the security of its residents by any means, military or diplomatic. “That being said,” Oron qualifies, “hallucinatory ideas like occupying Gaza should be thrown into the dustbin of history. A cease-fire is an Israeli interest, and it is preferable to an exchange of blows that will only escalate.”
A publication in Abu Dhabi puts it as follows:
- The growing calls for aggression drowned out the lone voices calling for dialogue. Chaim Oron, head of Meretz, the most left-wing of Israel’s Jewish parties, said the government should conduct talks with Hamas – an unlikely scenario since Israel refuses to deal with the group directly.