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Meretz Urges the Left to Block Netanyahu Coalition

‘Don’t throw Bibi a lifeline,’ urges far-left Meretz chairwoman.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 1/23/2013, 10:10 AM

MKs Horowitz, Galon and Gilon
MKs Horowitz, Galon and Gilon
Flash 90

As results from the elections become clearer, hope is growing on the far left that the left wing will be able to block Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu by preventing him from forming a new coalition. Without support from parties that  can form a bloc with a total of over 60 seats, Netanyahu will not be named the next prime minister.

Zahava Galon, chairwoman of the far-left Meretz faction, met Tuesday night with Yair Lapid, Shelly Yechimovich and Tzipi Livni, the heads of Yesh Atid, Labor and Hatnua respectively. “Don’t throw Bibi Netanyahu a lifeline,” she urged them.

Galon had previously urged Yesh Atid and the left to stand with Arab parties to thwart Netanyahu. “We have the opportunity to create a bloc – center, left, and Arabs,” she declared Tuesday night.

“The time has come,” she continued. “This could be an historic opportunity to replace the extreme-right regime that has trampled democracy.” She called on her fellow party heads on the left to “create a bloc to block the extremist Bibi, in order to preserve democracy and restore sanity to Israel.”

Galon’s proposed 60-seat bloc would have to include both Yesh Atid and the Arab parties Balad and Ra’am Ta’al, a prospect that seems unlikely given Yesh Atid’s centrist stance on defense and diplomacy and Balad and Ra’am Ta’al’s extremism, which has included support for terrorists.

Labor head Shelly Yechimovich has also expressed hope that the left will be able to block Netanyahu. Her proposal includes seeking support from the hareidi-religious factions Shas and Yahadut HaTorah (Gimmel) rather than Balad or Ra’am Ta’al.

Both plans rely on Yesh Atid to prefer toppling Netanyahu to joining his government as the second most powerful party.