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Leftist leaders take different tacks after Likud meeting

Meretz chief says Netanyahu turned Israel into a settlers’ state; Labor head reaches out to ultra-Orthodox

Meretz leader Zahava Gal-on (photo credit: Abir Sultan/Flash90/File)
Meretz leader Zahava Gal-on (photo credit: Abir Sultan/Flash90/File)

Following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the Likud party convention Sunday night, Meretz chief Zahava Gal-On called him an extremist prime minister while Labor leader Shelly Yachimovich pointed to the ultra-Orthodox as a realistic partner for her party.

Gal-On said that Netanyahu has “turned the Likud into a party of settlers and Israel into a settlers’ state,” Walla News reported. She called Netanyahu an “extreme prime minister” in all areas, including the “state, social and economic” realms.

Gal-On added that  Netanyahu’s biggest accomplishment as prime minister was decreasing cell phone prices. She said that in Israel there was no personal or social security, and no horizon, “but there are a lot of smartphones.”

Shelly Yachimovich said Sunday night that the ultra-Orthodox would be “fitting partners” for a government with her at the helm, adding that she and the Haredim shared much in terms of ideology, and that a leader shouldn’t focus on that which is divisive but rather on that which unifies.

Yachimovich added that, to her dismay, Netanyahu’s odds of becoming prime minister again were high, but that there was still a chance Labor would assemble the next government.

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