Poll: Far-left Meretz party for first time won’t pass election threshold

If the poll is correct, it will be the first time that the party fails to obtain the minimum number of seats to enter the Knesset.

By World Israel News Staff

Three weeks before the national elections, Israel’s far-left Meretz party will not pass the electoral threshold, according to a new Channel 12 poll conducted Tuesday evening.

Meretz was formed in 1992, a coalescing of three smaller parties. It embraces a two-state solution and various progressive causes. It’s a member of the Progressive Alliance and Socialist International, and is an observer member of the Party of European Socialists.

It reached its height under the leadership of Shulamit Aloni in the early 1990s. With 12 Knesset seats, it became the major coalition partner of Yitzhak Rabin’s Labor party, making possible the Oslo Accords in 1993, the agreement in which Israel signed a peace agreement with the Father of Modern Terror Yasser Arafat, then PLO chairman.

The Oslo Accords exploded when Arafat used his new base within Judea and Samaria to continue to wage a terror war against Israel. Meretz paid the price at the polls, losing a quarter of its seats in the 1996 elections.

The poll also shows that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party is in the lead with 28 seats. To form a coalition, a minimum of 61 seats is required in the 120-seat Knesset.

A previous Channel 12 poll also showed Likud with 28 seats.

The center-left Yesh Atid party, led by Yair Lapid, has 19 seats, the new poll shows – up one from the previous poll.

Right-wing parties New Hope, led by Gideon Sa’ar, and Naftali Bennett’s Yamina, gained as well, according to the poll, with 14 and 12 seats respectively.

The poll shows the (Arab) Joint List as having nine seats; eight seats for the ultra-Orthodox Shas party; seven each for Yisrael Beiteinu and Labor; United Torah Judaism, six seats; and five seats each for Blue and White and Religious Zionism.

A Channel 13 poll, however, has slightly different results, showing Meretz as barely making it, with four seats. The United Arab List, which recently broke away from the Joint List, had the same results as Meretz

The Channel 13 poll has Likud at 27 seats: Yesh Atid, 19; New Hope and Yemina, 11 each; Joint List, 8: Shas, United Torah Judaism and Yisrael Beiteinu, 7 each; Labor, 6; Religious Zionism, 5; and Blue and White, Meretz and United Arab List at 4 each.