In close talks with leftist activists this week, Meretz chairwoman and Knesset member Zehava Gal-On asked, “Why should we believe them? There’s no reason for the Meretz Party to sit on the fence for the sake of the Zionist Camp, just so they can join a coalition with [Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu and Naftali Bennett after the elections. I’ve seen this … with Tzipi Livni before, back in 2009, when she emptied us out of voters. She didn’t become prime minister in the end, and she almost eliminated us, too.” Gal-On was responding to the question of whether Meretz’ new campaign harms the chances of Labor Party chairman and Zionist Camp co-leader Isaac Herzog to put together the next government.
Gal-On swallowed, looked straight ahead and explained that she has no intention of apologizing or justifying herself. She has a party to lead into the elections, and she will not be Zionist Camp co-leader Livni’s cannon fodder again. “This time I’m not going to pay the price, and I have no reason to, either,” said an emotional Gal-On. “I’m saying that we will support Herzog as prime minister, but who can guarantee that he and Livni will not join a coalition with Netanyahu? They’ve already done that before. In the last elections, Livni explained to everyone how dangerous Netanyahu is, and yet she was still the first person to sign a coalition agreement with him and join his government.”