Meretz has started directly attacking Zionist Camp in its election campaign, as the left-wing party falls near the 3.25-percent electoral threshold in some polls.
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Late last week, Meretz published a large ad on the front page of Haaretz’s Hebrew edition, attacking Zionist Camp leader Isaac Herzog without mentioning his name.
“This week he’s behaving like Bibi,” the ad said, using the nickname of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Tomorrow he’ll be sitting with Bibi. The left is Meretz,” said the party, which is holding a press conference Sunday to hash out its new strategy.
Meretz has also come out against the whole Zionist Camp — an electoral alliance between Herzog’s Labor Party and Tzipi Livni’s centrist Hatnuah.
On a tour of the north Thursday, Meretz chief Zahava Gal-On criticized Herzog for his words about the government after Hezbollah’s attack on Israeli soldiers last week. After the attack, which killed two soldiers, Herzog said that at such times “there is no coalition and no opposition.”
“Actually at such moments the center-left camp must stand together against Netanyahu’s failed policy and condemn it automatically,” Gal-On said. “We already have one Bibi; anybody who wants to replace him must create an alternative for governing and not be a second Bibi.”
In a poll conducted by the Walla website late last week, Meretz fell to near the electoral threshold of 3.25 percent of the vote and four Knesset seats. Other polls showed Meretz capturing five or six seats, the number it won in the last election.
MK Ilan Gilon, No. 2 on the party's slate, attacked Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg, Zionist Camp’s candidate for finance minister.
“With such views, it would be better for Trajtenberg not to be the next finance minister,” Gilon said. “In his opposition to lowering VAT on basic goods and instituting differential VAT, he’s expressing conservatism regarding the method for distributing national wealth. It’s similar to his views on outsourcing, direct employment and privatization, which certainly don’t reflect social-democratic economics.”