Far-left Meretz party uniting with Arab anti-Zionists?

May 29, 2016  

Some 2,000 left-wing activists demonstrated in Tel Aviv on Saturday night, protesting Yisrael Beytenu chief Avigdor Liberman’s appointment as Defense Minister.

The protest was led by Zahava Gal-On, head of the far-left Meretz party, and Ayman Odeh, chairman of the predominantly Arab Joint List party.

The pair praised what they called the joint demonstration, saying that the cooperation between the largely Jewish Meretz party and mostly Arab Joint List represented a new opportunity for the creation of a “third camp” in Israeli politics.

“It’s exiting that thousands of Jews and Arabs have told Netanyahu that his Defense Minister is not appropriate,” Gal-On told Maariv on Saturday.

Gal-On lambasted Liberman, call him “the most racist and corrupt man” in Israeli politics, and decried his appointment as Defense Minister, saying the move was “only for political survival.”

The demonstration marks a heightening of ties between the anti-Zionist Joint List, and Meretz, which once claimed the mantle of radical socialist Zionism.

“We believe that only through a joint struggle of Jews and Arabs can we succeed,” said Odeh.

Speaking at the event, Odeh suggested that Meretz and the Joint List could forge a new camp in Israeli politics, opposed to both the Zionist right and Zionist left.

“We have the nationalist camp,” said Odeh, “we have the [left-wing] Zionist camp – we’re making the democratic camp.”

Odeh’s statements were hardly isolated. The demonstration was advertised under the headline “Building resistance, building opposition, building a new path in Israel”.

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