Labor Party Chairperson Merav Michaeli on Thursday announced her plan to resign from the party’s leadership and to stay home in the coming Knesset elections – whenever those may take place.
Michaeli, 57, is credited with the humiliating demise of the historic Labor Party that ruled the country for close to 40 years. As recently as 2014, Labor was engaged in a tight race against Likud which it lost only at the last minute, settling for 24 Knesset mandates. But in the few years since then, party chairpersons such as Avi Gabai and Merav Michaeli managed to downgrade Labor to ten, then only four mandates, and since November 2022, the party has not managed even once to rise above the 3.25% threshold vote.
מדינת ישראל נמצאת בימים אלה בשבר גדול.
מתוך השבר הנורא הזה, צריך שתהיה לישראל התחלה חדשה, ריסטרט.
ובשביל שזה יקרה, צריכות להתקיים בחירות, ואני משוכנעת שישראל הולכת לבחירות בשנת 2024.
כדי להיערך לבחירות האלה, אני פותחת את המפלגה, ואני מתכוונת להקדים את… pic.twitter.com/ng2HXAqCLW
— Merav Michaeli מרב מיכאלי (@MeravMichaeli) December 7, 2023
Merav Michaeli may have been the worst Labor Party leader ever. Her worst failure was refusing to unite with Labor’s sister party, Meretz, resulting in the ousting of Meretz from the Knesset for the first time since its creation. Michaeli was also a notoriously bad transport minister, investing vast resources in fighting split seating on Haredi buses, while effectively trumping efforts to save Jewish lives in Judea and Samaria by paving alternative roads that don’t cut through hostile Arab towns such as Huwara, where many Jewish motorists were slaughtered.
On Thursday, Michaeli gave a bad name to Chutzpa, when she tweeted: “Together with my friends, I was responsible for saving the Labor Party and for its success in the elections to the 24th Knesset. And as the head of the system, I am also responsible for the state of the party today. Responsibility is not only about successes.”
Is that magnanimous or what? As every left-wing voter who held back his or her vote from Labor recently knows, Michaeli’s responsibility for the downfall of her party is not merely “ministerial,” but direct and very personal. She managed to alienate both the party’s elders and the new generation, and her departure can only mean good things for the Zionist left.
Michaeli concluded her post, saying, “Today is the first candle of Hanukkah. May this step usher in the beginning of a great light that Israel has been waiting for.”
Two things: the first candle is not today, but tonight, which in Jewish tradition is Friday; and, yes, her departure from politics will surely bring a great light unto the nation.