Labor, Livni Agree to Join Forces Ahead of Elections

Polls predict center-left bloc comprised of Tzipi Livni's Hatnuah party and Labor, headed by Isaac Herzog, can beat Netanyahu's Likud.

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Labor chairman Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni announcing their joint list for the 2015 Knesset elections, Dec. 10, 2014.
Labor chairman Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni announcing their joint list for the 2015 Knesset elections, Dec. 10, 2014.Credit: Moti Milrod
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Labor Party chairman Isaac Herzog and Hatnuah party leader Tzipi Livni agreed on Wednesday to run on a joint center-left ticket in the upcoming elections.

Livni and Herzog - presenting themselves as a viable "Zionist-center" alternative to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose Likud party Livni said has been taken over by right-wing extremists - announced that they have agreed on a rotation system in which Herzog would serve as prime minister for the first two years, followed by Livni.

"The time has come for a change," Herzog said at a joint press conference with Livni. "There is another path, a path in which the Zionist camp joins ranks and walks together for the good of the country, together, for the future of our children and grandchildren and all citizens of the State of Israel."

"Livni and I are offering you new hope and a better future," he said. "Hope for an involved and caring government, one that is serious and takes initiative, that will do a lot more and talk a lot less."

Right-wing extremists "are turning this country into an isolated, closed and alienated state," said Livni, a former Likud member who joined Ariel Sharon's Kadima party before founding Hatnuah before the last election. "This election is a historic opportunity to return the country to ourselves."

Meretz chairwoman Zahava Gal-On welcomed the alternative to a third consecutive Netanyahu term (and fourth since 1996).

"Meretz welcomes the important move to create a center-left bloc that will lead to an alternative to Netanyahu's far-right bloc," she said, describing Meretz as the left-wing part of a center-left bloc led by Herzog and Livni.

While Labor, Hatnuah and Meretz repeatedly described Netanyahu's Likud as far-right and extremist, Likud depicted the Herzog-Livni ticket as left-wing, avoiding the term "center."

"It's clear that the elections this time are between the left-wing camp, led by Herzog and Livni, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Likud, led by the national camp," Likud said in a statement.

Herzog and Livni traveled together last week to the annual Saban Forum in Washington, and spent long hours in an effort to clinch a deal between their respective parties.

Their decision to form a joint slate was based in part on recent internal party polls showing that it would increase their combined representation in the Knesset. A poll conducted by Rafi Smith's Smith Consulting and published in Globes last week indicated that a joint centrist bloc would win 24 Knesset seats, while Likud would have only 22 seats.

A poll conducted by Channel 10 on Tuesday predicted that a unified political bloc comprising of the Labor Party and Hatnuah (would defeat the Likud party headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The poll, conducted by Camil Fuchs from Tel Aviv University, also found that Naftali Bennett's Habayit Hayehudi would win 15, a party led by ex-Likud MK Moshe Kahlon would win 13 seats, Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu would win 11 seats and Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid would win 10 seats. Shas would win 7 seats, Meretz 6, Hadash 5 and the United Arab List-Ta’al 5.

Even if former Minister of Interior Gideon Sa'ar would head the Likud in the election, the poll found the Labor-Hatnuah bloc would still beat Likud by a margin of 22-20.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott