Leaders of Meretz, Labor, Yesh Atid
Leaders of Meretz, Labor, Yesh AtidAvshalom Sassoni/Flash90

Does Prime Minister Yair Lapid really want the two main left-wing parties, Meretz and Labor, to unite in advance of this November's elections? According to officials from within Lapid's party, Yesh Atid, the premier is not investing serious effort in persuading Meretz and Labor to run together, despite recent reports suggesting the contrary.

On Saturday evening, Prime Minister Yair Lapid hosted Labor chair Merav Michaeli and Meretz chair Zehava Galon for an emergency meeting at his home, supposedly with the goal of convincing them to unify their parties.

Following the meeting, Galon said that the atmosphere at the meeting was positive, and the three leaders have agreed to continue their discussions; however, no agreements were reached.

According to a report in Channel 12 News last week, Lapid is ready to offer both Labor and Meretz reserved spots on the Yesh Atid party's slate for the Knesset elections, as well as upgraded ministerial portfolios in the next government, if they agree to make a joint run.

However, according to Yesh Atid officials, Lapid did not mention any specific offer at the Saturday night meeting, nor did he show Galon and Michaeli the results of the in-depth survey conducted recently that shows that should Labor and Meretz run together, their combined electoral strength will not be any less than it would be in the event that they run separately.

The officials thus concluded that Lapid is not genuinely concerned to see the two parties unite, and with only a few days left before party lists must be submitted, the likelihood that they will do so is slim.