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Meretz chairwoman: Herzog will need us to form coalition

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Meretz Party Chairwoman Zehava Gal-On calls upon leftist voters not to fall for the Zionist Camp's machinations, which threaten her party and the chances for a left-wing coalition.
Workers hold freshly printed campaign banners in Arabic that depict Isaac Herzog (L), who heads the centre-left Zionist Union alliance with former cabinet minister Tzipi Livni, and Zehava Galon (R), chair of the left-wing Meretz party, at a printing factory in the Arab village of Baqa al-Gharbiya in northern Israel March 2, 2015. Opinions polls show a tight race ahead of the March 17 election, campaigning for which has been dominated by economic issues like high living costs and workers wages. REUTERS/Ammar
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Meretz Party Chairwoman Zehava Gal-On leaves her frustrations at home every morning as she sets out for another endless day. She travels to the traditional bastions of Meretz support in the kibbutzim, universities, the Arab sector and big cities, and tries to bring voters back to the fold.

She's very frustrated, though. The decision by Meretz voters to jump to the Zionist Camp apparently does not result from disappointment with the party’s six Knesset members, who stood out with their social legislative initiatives and kept promoting peace with the Palestinians. The voters simply identified an opportunity to replace Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by supporting a larger party. Paradoxically, the left could end up paying dearly for its hopes of ousting him. If the center-left bloc loses voters, Zionist Camp leader Isaac Herzog’s prospects of forming a government will decline.

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