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New Israeli Left-Wing Party Created To Unite the Protest Movement

In Israel, Labor and Meretz created a new left party from a merger between them, adopting the not-so-inspiring name, “The Democrats,” they announced today. Yair Golan, a former Meretz MK (and once a deputy chief in the Israel Defense Forces), campaigned and won the Labor chairman position this year, having pledged to create one large leftist party, uniting “all members of the protest movement who are willing to fight for the destiny of Israel, for Israel as a democratic liberal state.”

It remains to be seen if the two small parties, now united, can act as a magnet for the rather active protest movement in Israel. Meretz Secretary General Tomer Reznik tweeted: “The Zionist left is alive and well! We did not unite to return to the Knesset; we united to return to power. The Zionist left is here to grow and get stronger.” He promised that they would become “bigger and more influential than the Kahanists.”

Golan tweeted that it was “a necessary step on the way to the establishment of the broad home for the liberal democratic public in Israel and is a necessary condition for a change of government.”

Labor MK Gilad Kariv tweeted: “More than a year ago, I started working to unify the forces of the Labor Party and Meretz, a union that will lead the democratic camp. What seemed to many at the time to be a far-fetched move—today has become a reality.” The agreement is “a defining moment in returning Israeli politics to a moral and sane path. I have no doubt that many other forces, including the democratic protest, will join the movement.” The new party is “a real alternative to the path of the failed and dangerous government.”