(July 25, 2019 / JNS) Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Meretz Party leader Nitzan Horowitz and breakaway Labor Knesset member Stav Shaffir have announced the creation of a new left-wing bloc—the Democratic Camp—following two nights of marathon meetings.
“The founders of the new union believe that the Democratic Camp is the necessary first step in the mission of returning Israel to the proper path,” Shaffir, Horowitz and Barak said in a joint statement.
According to the agreement, the bloc will be lead by Horowitz, followed by Shaffir and former Israel Defense Forces’ deputy chief of staff Yair Golan. Barak will be all the way down in the 10th slot, at his own request.
According to the agreement, the fifth and sixth slots will go to Meretz MKs, with the seventh, ninth, 14th and 15th slots going to Barak’s Israel Democratic Party.
“We are happy that Ehud Barak is joining the Meretz list, which will prevent votes in the camp being lost to a party that would not have crossed the electoral threshold,” the Labor Party said in a statement.
Former Meretz Party chair and Knesset member Tamar Zandberg called the agreement “a dramatic step to strengthen the left,” which would create an “alternative to the corrupt and messianic right-wing.”
Israeli Arab Meretz MK Issawi Frej told The Jerusalem Post that he was “the architect” of the bloc, and said the deal included an agreement that Barak would formally apologize, directly, to the families of 13 Arab citizens killed in protests when he was prime minister in 2000.
Barak already issued an apology earlier this week, taking responsibility for incidents which occurred under his leadership.