In Brief: Israeli Labor leader Merav Michaeli outlines outlook for election

Merav Michaeli > Ron Kedmi, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Israel’s transport minister and leader of the Israeli Labor party, Merav Michaeli, said on Monday that she would not rule out sitting in a government with the ultra-Orthodox parties following elections later this year.

She also ruled out running with Meretz, Israel’s other left-wing party.

Michaeli, a strong supporter of secularism, said that she had “great respect for the Haredi community” but added that “unfortunately, the ultra-Orthodox parties have chained themselves to Netanyahu in recent years”.

The questions arose from Michaeli’s attendance at the wedding of United Torah Judaism leader Moshe Gafni’s granddaughter at the weekend.

Michaeli also made clear that she had no intention of running on a joint slate with the left-wing Meretz party, as took place in the March 2020 election, despite opinion polls suggesting that Meretz in particular risks falling below the Knesset seat threshold.

“The experiment of Labor and Meretz together has already failed”, she asserted.

In March 2020, Labor and Meretz jointly won seven seats; whereas in March 2021 Labor won seven seats on its own, while Meretz won six.

She insisted that she instead wanted to build a strong “centre-left” party focused on liberal values.