Comment and Opinion

Haaretz: Fearing election debacle, Labour chief’s resistance to left-wing union starts to wane, by Yossi Verter

The first cracks may have been discovered in Labor Party Chairman Amir Peretz’s wall of opposition to a joint run in Israel’s September election with left-wing parties Meretz and Ehud Barak’s Democratic Israel.

According to people close to Peretz, the agreement in principle reached by Barak and Meretz leader Nitzan Horowitz on forming a joint ticket, with some Labor lawmakers like Stav Shaffir and Itzik Shmuli also likely to join, has given Labor leader second thoughts about whether agreeing to block any other possible mergers in his union with Orli Levi-Abekasis’s Gesher party, announced last week, wasn’t a mistake.

Peretz’s well-wishers have warned him that if Meretz and Democratic Israel do end up on a joint slate, Labor-Gesher might fail to pass the 3.25-percent electoral threshold on September 17. The excitement talks of a union have generated on the left would even draw in more than a few voters who still keep true to the dying brand Peretz heads. With polls showing that on average, the Labor-Gesher ticket isn’t worth much more than seven Knesset seats, this mini-bang on the left could spell disaster for both of them.

Read the full article at Haaretz.