Israel’s political bellwether? - Opinion

Israel’s political bellwether?

Posted: Thursday, March 8, 2018 8:49 am

Israel’s small left-wing Meretz party has been cheating oblivion since the beginning of this century. With its derisive reputation as made up of leftist, secular, Ashkenazi Tel Aviv elites, the party has not been able to get traction for its liberal and dovish platform favoring a two-state solution, LGBTQ rights, social equality and opposition to religious coercion. Meretz has five seats in the Knesset. It hasn’t been part of a governing coalition since Yitzhak Rabin was prime minister in the early 1990s.

Last week an earthquake hit the party. Its chairwoman and its No. 2, both in their 60s, dropped out of the running for party leadership in a March 22 primary. This makes way for a generational change in the party and, perhaps, a change in approach. The frontrunner is MK Tamar Zandberg, 41, but there are other young contenders, including Avi Buskilia, 42, who during his short tenure as head of the Peace Now movement, tried forge a dovish argument that would ring true to Israel’s Mizrachi majority.

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