Israel's elections: Who's at fault for the left's decline?

MK Itzik Shmuli blames MK Amir Peretz, while MK Peretz says 'irresponsible' Blue and White campaign for harming left's chance at coalition.

Hezki Baruch ,

Itzik Shmuli
Itzik Shmuli
Photo by Roy Alima/Flash90     

MK Itzik Shmuli (Labor-Gesher-Meretz) on Wednesday morning said that party chairman MK Amir Peretz harmed the center-left bloc when he said prior to the elections that Blue and White had made an agreement with the Joint Arab List.

"This serious error meant firing into our own tank," Shmuli told Army Radio. "This statement, which was said by one of us, supposedly regarding a minority government which was already a done deal, critically harmed Blue and White's center-right side. They also acted irresponsibly when they turned their fire on their natural partners."

Shmuli also called on the left to do some soul-searching after his list received just seven Knesset seats.

"At the critical moment, we were cut by half and that's a difficult blow," he said. "If we blame everyone on the outside instead of looking inwards honestly, we'll never get back to ourselves."

"We need at least a bit of soul-searching and from there we need to look forward and start on a journey of renewal. Seven Knesset seats for three parties, and just three of them go to Labor - that's the worst result we've ever seen. Were it not for the unity I pushed for, the Zionist left would have been erased."

Meanwhile, Amir Peretz blamed Blue and White for the elections results, which he said harmed the smaller Labor-Gesher-Meretz party. In his speech following the exit polls' publication, Peretz said: "We chose to undergo this process out of responsibility to ensure a large bloc which would give a chance at a new government."

"We did everything, while looking only at the good of the State. We signed a vote-sharing agreement with Blue and White, we supported [Blue and White Chairman MK Benny] Gantz, and then at the critical moments, Blue and White began an irresponsible campaign. We're not going to talk about 'they ate our votes' or 'they drank our votes.' I will continue acting responsibly."




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