(February 24, 2019 / Israel Hayom) Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and his staff could be behind a campaign that urged the center-left parties to unite and run on a joint ticket in the April 9 elections, according to a document revealed by Channel 13 on Saturday evening.
The campaign slogan was Bli ichud, hakol avud, a play on words that can mean either “Without unity, all is lost” or “Without unity, the vote is lost.”
The document, which was signed by Barak confidant attorney Oshi Elmaliach, who also oversaw the nonprofit group National Responsibility, which was behind the campaign, states that “with the announcement by Benny Gantz, Yair Lapid, Bogi [Moshe] Ya’alon, Gabi Ashkenazi and others that they will be running on a single list, we hereby inform you that a very successful campaign has come to an end, and [that] we are ceasing all activity.
“Generally speaking and as required by laws on party funding … continued activity following the announcement by most actors that they are running together could lead to needless restrictions on party funding. Our mission is complete and ended the moment a major merger was created on the center-left,” the document states.
Barak’s staff issued a response to the Channel 13 report: “In the past two-and-a-half years, Barak has worked extensively, sometimes alone, to bring together a fighting opposition. In recent months, Barak has done a lot of work to achieve mergers on the center-left. Although Barak has for years been friends with Elmaliach, who serves as head of National Responsibility, it is a sovereign entity that operates under his [Elmaliach’s] sole judgment.”
The Likud Party said in response to the report that “Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid will establish a left-wing government with the support of a bloc that includes the Arab parties.”