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September 10, 2022 1:30 pm

Israel: Meretz, Labor Leaders Meet with Lapid

avatar by i24 News

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid speaks on the phone with US President Joe Biden on August 31, 2022. Photo: Israeli PMO

i24 NewsIsrael’s Prime Minister Yair Lapid met with leaders of the left-wing Labor and Meretz parties Saturday night as he pressured them to run together in the upcoming November 1 general elections.

Labor leader Merav Michaeli insists she opposes a merger, saying in an interview Thursday: “There is no logic in such a run.”

“The only time we tried, it failed. It brought much fewer seats and Bibi,” she continued, using the colloquial nickname for Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu. “Last time, we ran separately and won 13 seats, and this will happen again.”

Lapid has said that a merger between the two would not harm the number of seats they would potentially gain. Meanwhile, a Panels Politics poll found that Meretz is continuing its upward trend, receiving five seats in the elections, while Labor continues to weaken, receiving only four seats.

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Michaeli noted she would decline pressure, regardless of Lapid’s offers of reserving spots for Labor candidates on the Yesh Atid list if they do not make it into parliament.

Before the meeting, Michaeli released a statement saying, “My position on a merger is known.”

“I came because I was invited, and I am happy to hear the prime minister’s position from him for the first time, not through the media. We may have different views on how to get there, but the goal is clear and we are partners in it: to prevent the return of Netanyahu and the right to power.”

Meretz leader Zehava Galon has been open in the past about her desire for the parties to merge, saying in an interview with i24NEWS, “If I see that there is a possibility of Benjamin Netanyahu’s return to power, I will give priority to strengthening the opposition bloc by accepting an alliance with the Labor Party.”

Channel 12 published a Friday poll that showed 45 percent of center-to-left voters favor a merger between Labor and Meretz.

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