MK Efrat Rayten (Labor) acknowledged on Friday that her party failed in the election campaign, after Labor won just four seats in the new Knesset.
Speaking on Channel 12 News a day after Labor chairwoman Merav Michaeli blamed Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid for the left’s loss in the election and for Meretz failing to pass the electoral threshold altogether, Rayten said, "There is also a failure of the Labor Party here, we need to look at reality with our eyes."
At the same time, she refused to call on Michaeli to step down following her comments on Thursday, saying, "You won't hear from me that Michaeli should resign from her position."
"No one is avoiding taking responsibility," continued Rayten. "The failure is also ours. We dropped from seven seats to four, and it can be explained in many ways, but that is not relevant. The results speak for themselves. But the failure is much bigger than that. In the end, Merav has the responsibility for the party and Lapid has the responsibility for leading the bloc. He took on that responsibility. We ran an election campaign which was not against Meretz, but in favor of Lapid. We didn't want to cause harm and take the votes from Meretz. We ran our campaign."
"When we made the decision to run separately from Meretz about two months ago, it was a very informed decision, based on the past and on previous failures of alliances," she added. "Today it is very easy to look for scapegoats, but this is wisdom in hindsight. There could also have been another scenario where we would have united and won five seats, and they would have told us that we wiped out the Labor Party."
In conclusion, Rayten said that the Labor Party does have responsibility, but that the heads of the bloc and the heads of the other parties must also look the truth in the eyes and see where they went wrong. "We did our self-examination, we will draw conclusions."
She also expressed concern about the composition of the government that is about to be formed. "We will be few women, we will be only four people fighting for liberalism and democracy. We are going to reorganize the bloc to fight for the identity of the country and the things we believe in."
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)