Amir Peretz
Amir Peretz Hezki Baruch

The Israeli Labor Party is preparing for an election alliance with the far-left Meretz party, Channel 12 reported Sunday evening.

Sources close to Labor chairman MK Amir Peretz told Channel 12 that the party has decided to open negotiations with Meretz for a joint ticket, adding that Peretz shared plans for the opening of negotiations with party officials Sunday.

Labor, which won just six seats in the past two elections – the party’s poorest showing in its history – ran on a joint ticket with the center-left Gesher faction in the September election.

Meretz, which won four seats running independently in April 2019 and five seats in September when it ran on a joint ticket with the Israel Democratic Party, failed to cross the 3.25% electoral threshold in last week’s Panels Politics poll, suggesting the party may be in danger of being left out of the 23rd Knesset.

According to Sunday’s report, Peretz is planning to demand seven of the top 10 spots on a joint Knesset slate with Meretz, leaving Meretz with just two of the top 10 spots. MK Yair Golan, a member of the Israel Democratic Party, would also receive a place in the joint list’s top 10 spots.

The decision to begin negotiations with Meretz and the Israel Democratic Party for a united left-wing ticket was made despite opposition within the Labor camp, and in particular from Gesher chairwoman Orly Levy.

Peretz vowed that if an agreement is reached with Meretz and the Israel Democratic Party, the deal will be brought to the Labor party central committee for ratification this Tuesday.

The deadline for registering Knesset lists for the March 2nd election is this Wednesday.

Peretz has reportedly tapped former Interior Minister Ophir Pines-Paz and party secretary-general Eran Hermoni to lead the Labor party’s negotiating team.