Shock Merger: Meretz Joins With UTJ
Last week there was a surprising announcement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Leiberman, that their parties Likud and Yisrael Beitainu are merging.
This week, a second shocker, as Zahavah Gal-On, leader of the left wing secular party, Meretz, joined hands with Deputy Health Minister, Rabbi Yakov Litzman and chairman of the knesset's financial committee, Moshe Gafni, the joint leaders of United Torah Judaism (Yahadut Hatorah).
The new joint party, called Yahadut Hameretz, is expected to attract an astounding “one hundred” members of the Knesset in the upcoming national elections, assuring the new party of leading the new Government.
The joint announcement of the merger of the extreme left Meretz with the ultra-orthodox UTJ, surprised many.
Gal-On explained that “the central and defining principles that unite the parties are far more dominant than any minor details of differing philosophies”.
“Both parties are sincerely promoting the interests of the have-nots,” explained Gal-On. “The under-privileged, the unemployed, the under-paid. Single parents, bringing up families on impossibly low income support, hard-working bread-earners who bring in a meager minimum wage which cannot support their families.”
Visibly moved, Gal-On added, “And those who chose the true torah path of a life of study and devotion.”
“Yahadut HaMeretz are the voice, for those who have no voice,” she concluded, to enthusiastic applause.
At the joint press conference, Rabbi Litzman continued, “we are joined together by our common desire to represent Am Yisrael, and in particular, those who champion a larger and more supportive welfare state.
“Our colleagues in Meretz have long been our natural partners – this union is a result of over three years of intensive discussions and negotiations beyond the public eye.”
Moshe Gafni responded to potential critics, observing “although this union will seem to many to be unconventional, I can assure our supporters that this will bring far more seats in the Knesset together, than would have been possible separately. Supporters of both UTJ and Meretz will benefit by the additional representation.”
“From the UTJ point of view, for example, Government budgets which are currently used for kollel stipends and were previously shared by us together with Shas and Bayit Hayehudi, will now be exclusively used for UTJ institutions.”
“Furthermore, both parties are unified in their policy that the IDF should be disbanded, whether as an occupying force over Arab lands, or because, in the absence of Tal’s Law, the army is an existential threat to torah true Jews.
“Therefore, under the upcoming Yahadut HaMeretz Government, of which we are confident, the National Defence Budget will be immediately reallocated to provide cheap housing for young couples and their many - or very few - children.
“Whether these families are Torah observant, fervently secular, or returning Palestinian Refugees from their diaspora - Welcome one, welcome all!” Gafni concluded, to further rapturous applause from an impressive gathering of Gafni’s family members.
Yossi Beilin, the Yahadut HaMeretz Party Secretary, explained to reporters how the new party will attract the political middle ground.
“Voter surveys show that if one draws a line on the political spectrum between Meretz (currently 3 seats) on the secular left, and UTJ (currently 5 seats) on the religious right, nearly everyone falls within the target voting public, except perhaps the three Arab parties and the Green-Leaf Marijuana Legalisation Front.”
As such, Rabbi Beilin reports that the new party Yahadut Hameretz will win “over one hundred seats” in the upcoming Knesset.