Photo Credit: Flash90
Democratic Camp leaders (R-L) Nitzan Horowitz, Ehud Barak and Stav Shaffir in Tel Aviv, July 30, 2019.

The Democratic Camp has shelved an internal talking points page that called to bring back deterrence against the Gaza Strip, following protests from Meretz representatives on the list Israel Hayom reported Tuesday. The document was prepared in Ehud Barak’s party, Democratic Israel, and distributed to the united list’s candidates in recent days.

The wording criticized by Meretz members stated that “first of all, the deterrence equation in Gaza must be brought back. Netanyahu chooses to restrain himself and pays Hamas protection money, thereby compromising the security of the residents of the Gaza Strip envelope.”

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The talking points page also states that “Gaza poses a different challenge to the military and political echelons. It should be the military rank – the chief of staff, intelligence chief, and head of the southern command that recommend to the government when and exactly how to bring back the deterrence against Hamas. The government’s challenge is to create political opportunities and leverage between rounds of fighting. For example, in the five years since the 2014 war, nothing has been done to push a wedge between 1.8 million Palestinians and Hamas in Gaza.”

At the same time, the Democratic Camp campaign in the Arab sector will highlight the desire to bring them into the fold in government decision-making and in participation in running the state.

A senior Democratic Camp official explained to Israel Hayom: “We say enough to nationalist voting as well as to politically motivated civic voting. Otherwise, how will we sit in government and not on the sidelines; how else will we solve the Arab sector’s problems?”

If the campaign succeeds in luring in Arab votes at the expense of the Joint Arab List, the party expects to receive about two complete mandates from Arab voters. For comparison, in the last election, Meretz won 43,000 votes from the Arab sector, or about a mandate and a third.

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