As of 7:22 AM, the website of Israel’s Central Elections Committee is showing, with 3 million votes counted, that Meretz could end up below the 3.25% threshold, with only 3.17%. If this extreme-left party is swept away to the dustbin of history, it won’t be because of Benjamin Netanyahu, Bezalel Smotrich, or Itamar Ben Gvir, although these three gentlemen will probably not shed a tear over its demise. The man who killed Meretz would be the outgoing Prime Minister and Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid.
In his first post-election speech Tuesday night, Lapid said: “Yesh Atid has grown and strengthened while showing responsibility and making sure to maintain all partnerships in the bloc.”
Add that one to the ever-mounting heap of lies, misstatements, and faux pas from Lapid which have graced us since before he took to politics. The fact is, sometime in September, when he realized he may not be able to win this one, Lapid decided to boost his own party’s numbers to bolster his domination over the opposition parties and to better his standing for the next election.
To right-wing Israelis, the demise of Meretz couldn’t come too soon. It was Meretz that pushed and supported the labor party as it dragged the country into the Oslo agreement, resulting in rivers of Jewish blood over three decades and the rise of the terrorist group Hamas as the legitimate heir of the “more reasonable” PLO.
It was also Meretz that began the process of eradicating Jewish education in Israeli public schools, creating an entire generation of secular Israelis who know very little about their history and tradition, and as a result, care very little about both.
And so, a grateful nation owes a big Yishar Koach to Yair Lapid, the man who, albeit inadvertently, killed Meretz. Mossi Raz, number 2 on the Meretz list, told Haaretz early Wednesday morning: “In the previous elections, Meretz received the sixth mandate by the skin of its teeth. We saw all the time that we were in danger. The fact is that Labor didn’t get stronger, neither did Hadash, so it probably went to Lapid.”
By the way, Meretz Chair Zehava Gal-on did not show up at the party’s headquarters Tuesday night. Gal-on was brought back from retirement to save the party that was on the brink of disaster and, you know, maybe added another brink.
When the Oslo Accords had been signed, in 1993, then Meretz Chair, the late Shulamit Aloni, said: “I feel like it’s the 29th of November all over again – back then we didn’t know what we were getting into, but we knew big days were coming.”
On November 29, 1947, the United Nations voted in favor of dividing the Land of Israel between its Jewish and Arab residents, with the Arabs receiving the larger portion of the map. It could be said that in Oslo, Israel was starting to shrink down to fit those same borders. It is fitting, therefore, that the rise of Israel’s national-religious right would take place as the nightmare party of the past may have been sent away by the voter.