Faltering Israeli parties that once brought Palestinian self-rule running together in March election

Labor and Meretz leaders are stressing that the merged list is a “technical” move, meaning that they are each remaining independent parties.

By World Israel News Staff 

Labor and Meretz, two factions that paved the way for the establishment of Palestinian self-rule in parts of Judea, Samaria, and Gaza in the 1990s, announced Sunday that they would run together on a joint ticket in the March 2 Knesset election.

The once leading Labor Party, which won 44 seats in the June 1992 parliamentary election bringing Yitzhak Rabin to power as prime minister, has fallen to six seats in the current Knesset, even after running jointly with another party called Gesher in the September election.

Rabin joined forces with Meretz, which had won 12 seats in the 1992 election. Together with the Haredi religious Shas party, which later quit the government, they formed a majority coalition in the 120-member Israeli parliament.

The government was established in just under three weeks.

In 1993, the Israeli government signed the Declaration of Principles with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which brought about the formation of the Palestinian Authority (PA). The accords also called for the ultimate establishment of a Palestinian state but it never happened amid rampant Arab terrorism.

Read  Ex-deputy IDF chief calls for 'public rebellion' against government

In later years, Labor began to flounder and the left in Israel became weaker, reaching the point now when Labor-Gesher has decided to run together with Meretz over the fear that at least one of them could fail to win enough seats to even enter the Knesset after the March ballot.

The slip which voters will place in the ballot box is to carry the Labor name. The top two positions on the joint list will be occupied by Labor-Gesher leaders followed by the head of Meretz in the number three position.

Labor and Meretz leaders are stressing that the merged list is a “technical” move, meaning that they are each remaining independent parties.

The consolidated list on the left is seen as putting pressure on the right to join forces in a similarly-merged ticket to help the chances of Benjamin Netanyahu to remain as prime minister. Labor-Gesher-Meretz would support Netanyahu’s challenger, Blue and White leader MK Benny Gantz.