Ayalon in Sunday's press conference
Photo: Yaron Brener

Ami Ayalon won't join Meretz

Following meeting with representatives of left-wing organization, minister who quit Labor decides to run for Knesset independently as head of religious Zionist Meimad party

Minister Ami Ayalon's attempt to join the left-wing Meretz party has failed. Following a meeting held Sunday evening between Ayalon, who quit the Labor Party, Meretz Chairman Chaim Oron and representatives of the new left-wing organization, the sides decided not to run together in the upcoming Knesset elections.


Oron held several meetings with Ayalon over the past week in a bid to examine the possibility of including Ayalon and Knesset Member Michael Melchior (Labor-Meimad) in Meretz's Knesset list as part of the new left-wing organization.


Eventually, the sides decided to run for Knesset independently and hold another meeting in the coming weeks.


Oron told Ynet at the end of the meeting, "We reached the conclusion that our timetables cannot be adjusted. They have their own timetable and we have our own, so at this stage we're going our separate ways.


"Perhaps later, if the situation allows it, we'll see. In the meantime we're going our own way."


A Meretz official said that the sides did not discuss the possibility of securing Ayalon and Melchior on the Meretz roster. "It was clear that there are no agreements, so we didn't make progress," a source who took part in the meeting said.


Ayalon plans to head the left-wing religious Zionist Meimad movement and will try and collaborate with additional groups in a bid to form a "real" party which will be able to run for Knesset without degrading itself.


The Meimad council is expected to convene in the coming days to make a decision on the matter.


Ayalon declared Sunday morning that he would not be running for Knesset as part of the Labor Party and would work to form political mergers with additional bodies.


Sources in the new left-wing organization have expressed their disappointment with Ayalon in the past few days, saying that in light of his conduct and the criticism directed against him in the media, "the desire to include him in the list has deteriorated rapidly."


In a press conference Sunday morning, Ayalon explained why he decided to leave the Labor Party. "The mistakes I made stemmed from the acceptance of the rules of the political game. Part of the rules of the game are to distort messages in order to be elected, to fight only in closed rooms so that they know we are shooting inside the armored personnel vehicle," he said.


"I prefer to say what I have to say. I don’t distort messages. I have a very clear war. I don't change my way. I'm ready to change frameworks, as long as the way is the way I believe in. I will not run in the Labor primaries and I won't be a Knesset member on behalf of this party."


פרסום ראשון: 11.17.08, 07:16
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