‘Jilted’ MK Shafir: We Are Not Giving Up

Voting at the primaries for the Labor party, in July 2019, in Tel Aviv. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Despite the unity deal signed between Labor and Democratic Camp for a single list left of Blue and White, a second left-leaning party may yet run in the 2020 elections. Left out of the deal was Green Party head Stav Shafir – and she may decide to run independently, likely siphoning tens of thousands of votes away from the united left list.

Speaking Monday, Shafir called the deal between Meretz’s Nitzan Horowitz and Labor’s Amir Peretz a “jobs deal,” designed to get ministries and committee chairmanships for party MKs in the event a government headed by Blue and White is established. “Deals like this just turn off the public from politics, at a time that the most important thing in our camp is to renew faith in politics among the public, to offer a new vision, to show a path that will excite people. This is just the same old politics.”

Shafir, who shot to prominence in the 2011 protests against high prices, has had a rocky relationship with both Labor and Meretz. On the eve of elections last April she dropped Labor and moved over to Meretz, which became Democratic Camp – making her persona non grata in Labor. She is also not well-liked in Meretz, where MKs have accused her of using the party to advance her Green Party’s profile. In an interview with Yediot Acharonot, Shafir said that she had left Labor in order to “save” Meretz, “but they have decided to throw out the human bridge that helped them pass the electoral threshold in the last election.”

In her statement Monday, Shafir said that she would meet with supporters in the coming days to decide on what course to take. “Do not be sad, we are continuing with full strength. I promise to keep doing what I have been doing from the moment I entered politics: to return to the people an opportunity to trust our camp, to restore faith in politics, to fight for the values that people expect the Knesset to represent,” the statement said.

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