To gain power, the Zionist Camp would need to get 27 seats in the next Knesset, party chairman Avi Gabay told supporters in a weekend rally in Dimona – and his party would have to join with Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party, which would have to get at least 11 seats.
Indeed, Gabay said, he would be happy to align with nearly all parties in order to set up a coalition – but not the United Arab List. “I don’t see us connecting with them,” he told supporters. In fact, he said the next day in a public forum, the Arabs in general were not welcome in his coalition – or his party, in comments that were far more hawkish than those made by recent leaders of the party, including Yitzchak Herzog and Shelly Yechimovich.
“I am not at all sure that there is a partner on the other side who can make decisions that need to be made in a peace process,” he said. “When I say I want a solution I want one that will not have any risk for us,” and under current conditions that was not possible.
During the rally, Gabay was asked a surprising question – about whether his lack of familiarity with English would be a problem for his leadership of the party. In response, Gabay said he did not think it would be a problem, and that the essence of the question was rooted in the fear of other politicians, especially Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, of the growing wave of support for Zionist Camp.