Meretz Chairman MK NItzan Horowitz
Meretz Chairman MK NItzan Horowitz Flash 90

Three Labor women may be on their way to joining Meretz, Israel Hayom reported.

According to Israel Hayom, representatives and Knesset members from Meretz contacted Labor MKs Stav Shaffir, Merav Michaeli, and Revital Swid, in an attempt to persuade them to join the party.

The requests followed the recent merger between Labor and Orly Levi-Abekasis' Gesher party. Talks with Shaffir are at an advanced stage, the report noted, while it is not clear how Michaeli and Swid responded.

Meanwhile, discussions regarding a merger between Meretz and former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's "Israel Democratic Party" may have come to a standstill. One of the major concerns is that such a merger will cause Meretz to lose some of its Arab voters, since Barak is seen as someone who does not view Arabs as partners in peace. Barak, for his part, believes the differences between the two parties are minimal.

Meretz Chairman Nitzan Horowitz refused to rule out a merger, and a source within the party said the party is still examining the various options open to it, include that of a merger, Israel Hayom noted.

There has also been an increase in the number of Meretz supporters calling on Barak not to run: "His candidacy endangers our camp's votes, for no real reason," a Meretz source said. "In most polls, Barak does not pass the electoral threshold. In the current situation, after [Labor Chairman MK Amir] Peretz decided that he will not merge with us, Barak is simply disturbing any possible process for those leaving Labor, and he may well endanger the future of the entire bloc."