This is from the Facebook page of Meretz party chair Zehava Gal-On:
Dear friends, this morning the tables turned. Not only did Meretz pass the threshold to enter [the] Knesset, but we won the fifth seat after counting the [soldiers and diplomats’] votes. Had we stayed with four seats [as previously projected] I would have resigned and given my place to Tamar Zandberg. Thankfully we got five seats and I do not have to make that decision.
I do not deny that I had greater aspirations. But under the circumstances, where a party like Habayt Hayehudi (Jewish home) lost four seats and Yesh Atid lost eight seats – in this situation, getting five seats and the same number of votes as we did in the last election – in this reality Meretz’s achievement should be considered a success against all odds.
Since yesterday I have been receiving hundreds of calls, SMSes, emails and here on facebook – people are encouraging me to continue what we started. When I see the much broader opposition that is forming, I know it’s my responsibility to the party and the public to remain at the forefront of the struggle, to join hands and lead us on a new path.
We have two major challenges. The first is to face a rightwing government that no longer hides behind masks, openly rejects the two state solution, works to dismantle the authority of the Supreme Court, to crush the independent media, and worse yet – they no longer hide their ugly racism against Arab citizens of Israel. This is a government that intends to liquidate Arab citizens as political players, kicking them out of Israeli society. To that we say: Over our Dead Bodies.
We have to fight to the end against a government that de-legitimizes half the population and therefore lost legitimacy to govern Israel. In this Knesset we have the power and the public support to stand united against Netanyahu’s government.
Our second challenge is internal. We have to find our direction and our voice again. We have to build ourselves differently and begin repairing. Our strength lies in our ability to change, and I not only mean in what we say or do, but also the identity of the public in whose name we are elected and no less the identity of our elected officials. This is an ongoing process that I am very proud of and reflects the composition of our list in this election. I am committed to continue to fundamentally change the foundation of the Israeli left.
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