After Israeli newspaper Makor Rishon claimed that the Israeli left-wing party, Meretz, was no longer officially ZIonist, Meretz Chairwoman Zehava Gal-On called it a “manipulative publication,” stating her party had never been formally Zionist.


Meretz Photo Credit: Meretz’s Facebook Page/Channel 2 News

Meretz Chairwoman Zehava Gal-On responded tonight (Friday) to a publication in the Makor Rishon newspaper which stated that her party was officially no longer Zionist. Gal-On who recently resigned from her position as a Member of Knesset to focus on her party called the claim “a manipulative publication” stating in an interview on Channel 2 News that Meretz had never formally defined itself as a Zionist party, rather only acted as such.

“Meretz is a Leftist Zionist Israeli party, with Jewish and Arab members,” she said. “The founders decided in 1992 that everyone would define himself as he understood – we thought of ourselves as Zionists and did not demand that the Arabs define themselves as such. In our platform, we defined ourselves as acting in the spirit of the principles of the [Israeli] Declaration of Independence, and we have never defined ourselves as Zionists.”

Zehava Gal-On

Zehava Gal-On Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel, Flash 90/Channel 2 News

“What is Zionism in 2017?” wondered the former Knesset member. “Is Zionism the settling, messianic, right, as depicted by the government? I am a Zionist because I think that the Jewish people have a right to self-determination, and the Palestinians have a right of their own. We have here a government that legislates racist, anti-democratic laws, that wants to maintain control over another people and refuses to stop the occupation – I oppose this version of Zionism. Our Zionism is inclusive, that’s what we offer.”

“There is manipulation here, suggestive of Bibi’s time,” Gal-On charged. “Our definition comes from the understanding that there are two narratives here, and I do not have to stand up to Makor Rishon’s test of loyalty. We are patriotic Zionists no less than anyone else. There is a mission here to stain the left.”