In ‘final offer,’ Meretz said willing to place Shaffir fifth on joint slate

In ‘final offer,’ Meretz said willing to place Shaffir fifth on joint slate

But left-wing party reportedly doesn’t expect MK to accept offer to return to Democratic Camp alliance in coming elections

MK Stav Shaffir of the Democratic Camp party holds a press conference, September 15, 2019. (Tomer Neuberg/FLASH90)
MK Stav Shaffir of the Democratic Camp party holds a press conference, September 15, 2019. (Tomer Neuberg/FLASH90)

The Meretz party is reportedly prepared to offer MK Stav Shaffir the fifth spot on a combined slate with other left-wing parties in the upcoming general elections, but party officials don’t expect her to take up the proposal.

Shaffir, who joined her Green Party with Meretz and the Israel Democratic Party ahead of the previous elections to form the left-wing Democratic Camp alliance, has threatened to go it alone this time around due to an ongoing spat with Meretz and its leader, MK Nitzan Horowitz.

A senior Meretz source told Ynet that the fifth slot is the party’s “final offer” to Shaffir. .

Meretz officials told Ynet on Wednesday they doubt Shaffir, who in the last elections was placed second on the Democratic Camp slate, would agree to the offer. The sources said there is a lot of anger in the party at Shaffir, who is seen as leading a campaign against Meretz.

A statement on behalf of Shaffir said, “Someone who wants unity comes and holds face-to-face negotiations with his partners, and doesn’t go and ask via media and using pseudonyms.”

Sources close to Shaffir reported she has heard nothing from Meretz and there has been no recent contact with the party.

Shaffir has recently said she would settle for third place on the Democratic Camp slate.

Democratic Choice chairman Yair Golan (L) and Meretz chairman Nitzan Horowitz sign an agreement to run together as the Democratic Camp on January 7, 2019. (Courtesy)

Relations between Shaffir and Horowitz’s Meretz have soured in recent weeks over the placement of the Green Party leader on the alliance slate. Shaffir had proposed either holding another leadership primary to determine the makeup of the alliance or to have the Democratic Camp replicate its lineup from the September elections.

In the meantime, Meretz has already closed the first four spots on its election roster in a deal with Democratic Choice chairman Yair Golan that will see the two parties run together again as the Democratic Camp.

Topping the slate is Horowitz, followed by former Meretz leader Tamar Zandberg, Golan, and then Meretz faction chairman Ilan Gilon. If Shaffir doesn’t accept fifth place, it will instead be offered to former Meretz Arab Israeli lawmaker Issawi Frej, Ynet reported.

Meretz MK Issawi Frej attends a Economic committee meeting at the Knesset on July 12, 2016. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Despite the spat with Shaffir, Horowitz has called for additional mergers on the left, and specifically named Amir Peretz, calling the Labor chairman to join the alliance.

But Peretz has expressed hesitation regarding a Labor-Democratic Camp merger, worrying the move would scare away potential right-leaning voters from his socioeconomic minded party. Nonetheless, he proposed earlier Tuesday during a Channel 12 interview that a union of all Zionist three centrist and left-of-center parties — Blue and White, Labor and Democratic Camp — take place in order to strengthen the bloc and ensure that the latter two parties cross the electoral threshold.

Blue and White leader Benny Gantz rejected the prospect of an alliance with any other parties.

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