On Tuesday, Yair Golan was defeated by Zehava Galon who re-took control of the left-wing Meretz party.
A number of sitting members of the Knesset were able to land prominent positions in this primary on the electoral list.
The second to sixth positions after Galon would be filled by sitting lawmakers, including Ali Salalha, Gaby Lasky, Mossi Raz and Michal Rosin, along with Golan who was also running for the candidate list, not in this order.
The seventh spot went to Health Minister and outgoing chief of the Meretz party, Nitzan Horowitz, but the party currently has five to six seats in the elections on November 1st, as per polls.
Between 2013 and 2019, Galon had been running the Meretz party and was convinced to come out of retirement to go against Golan.
This is because the latter wished to transform the party into a ‘Zionist left’ one that would be dedicated to separating from the Palestinians.
Meanwhile, it is considered an ‘Israeli party’ by Galon that focuses on a number of progressive causes.
On Tuesday night, Galon gave her victory speech and said that there was still a struggling ongoing between Arabs and Jews for equality.
She also said that there were other struggles like those for gay rights, climate, economic and social justice, and democracy, freedom of religion, peace and for ending the occupation.
Galon said that all these struggles were interrelated and independent at the same time. One of the key reasons it is considered an ‘Israeli party’ is because Meretz also includes Arab Israelis.
Therefore, it is not considered a Zionist party and previous politicians from the party, such as the outgoing minister Essawi Frej who did not participate in the primary, don’t call themselves Zionist.
However, Tuesday’s results saw a decline in Arab representation of the Meretz party, as opposed to the outgoing Knesset.
There were three Arab politicians on the slate in 2021, only one got a realistic spot this time and it was Salalha, who is not Muslim but Druze.
Golan, who was not in attendance on Tuesday’s party event, congratulated Galon on her victory. The latter also thanked Horowitz for leading the party through a rocky year.
She acknowledged that he had taken the steps that brought the party into the government, as she herself has only led Meretz in the opposition.
Galon also said in her remarks on Tuesday that she wants the party to join a government that would be headed by centrist leaders, such as the Defense Minister Benny Gantz, or the Prime Minister Yair Lapid.
The new party chair said that both Gantz and Lapid need a strong Meretz to their left. The premier congratulated her on her victory and applauded her political experience and values.
The news was also welcomed by Gantz, who stated that their immediate priority was to ensure that Benjamin Netanyahu, the leader of the Likud party, does not get 61 seats in the Knesset.