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Will Jewish left-wing voters support the Joint List in March?

Meretz's alliance with Labor-Gesher has put ardent leftists in an ideological bind, leading some to conclude that the overwhelmingly Arab Joint List might attract some of their votes.
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In the September 2019 elections, the Zionist left split into two camps. One consisted of veteran, ideological voters who never miss an opportunity to protest against the occupation. They vote for left-wing Meretz no matter what, and on a good day, bring it to the margins of the electoral threshold; they alone are barely sufficient to earn the party the four seats needed to get into the Knesset. The other camp consisted of pragmatic center-left voters concerned about the erosion of Israeli democracy and the rule of law. Their main motivation for backing Meretz was fear that the party might not cross the 3.25% vote threshold, thereby weakening the “anyone but Netanyahu” bloc by two to three Knesset seats. In the upcoming March 2 elections, the Zionist left could find itself losing ground in both these camps.

The recent alliance between Labor-Gesher and Meretz to run on one ticket makes the vote of left-wing ideologues as painful as root canal without anesthesia. They have a particularly hard time accepting Gesher leader Orly Levy-Abekasis, who began her political career with the hawkish right-wing Yisrael Beitenu of Avigdor Liberman and supported the Nationality Law. Last year she united her party with Labor, but has declared that this year’s partnership with Meretz is merely “technical.” The leftist ideologues are fuming that Issawi Freij, the only Arab lawmaker on Meretz's list of Knesset candidates, was dropped to 11th place on the joint ticket, and Mossi Raz, a dedicated peace activist, is now 14th, meaning neither will get into the Knesset if predictions hold and the united ticket wins only nine seats. The two die-hard leftists were pushed down on the slate of candidates to make room for Labor-Gesher’s Maj. Gen. (res.) Yair Golan, a political newbie who “parachuted” in to 7th place on the list.

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