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New party in Israel:
Labor and
Meretz merge

Richard Krauss

30. Juni 2024

The Democrats:
A new chapter for
Israel's left

The Israeli parties Labor and Meretz have merged to form a new political party called "The Democrats" to unite the left-wing political spectrum in Israel. Yair Golan, former deputy chief of staff of the Israeli army, plays a central role in this.

Golan has had an eventful political career and emphasizes the need for a political home for the liberal-democratic camp. He emphasizes the importance of democracy and Zionism. The new party is intended to attract members from various left-wing factions, civil society organizations and protest movements.

According to Israeli media, the Democrats' program focuses on several core issues:

Support for a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, including a freeze on settlement expansion and the search for a diplomatic agreement with the Palestinians. In the area of ​​climate protection, the party calls for measures to reduce CO2 emissions and emphasizes the need for international cooperation.

The Democrats also aim to improve relations with the European Union and Arab states in order to advance the peace process.

The merger follows a period of intense political restructuring within the Israeli left. In the past, Labor had rejected a merger with Meretz, which led to Meretz failing to enter the Knesset in the last elections.

The new party, The Democrats, is intended to prevent such a failure and strengthen the political influence of the left. Golan won the Labor Party's primaries by an overwhelming majority, cementing his position as a leading force within the new party. The merger of Labor and Meretz to form

The Democrats could represent a significant restructuring of the Israeli political landscape. According to reports in the Jerusalem Post, this shows the attempt by left-wing parties to join forces and achieve a stronger political position together. This is particularly relevant in a political climate marked by deep societal divisions and major challenges, including security, internal unity and international relations.

Sources: Haaretz, Times of Israel, Jerusalem Post,

Yair Golan, born on May 14, 1962, is a well-known Israeli politician and former major general in the Israel Defense Forces. His military career was marked by deployments in the First and Second Lebanon Wars as well as in Operation Protective Edge.

After leaving the military, Golan entered politics, initially joining the Israeli Democratic Party under Ehud Barak before moving to the Democratic Union and later to the Meretz party.

In December 2020, he was elected to the 24th Knesset and served as deputy minister of economy. Despite these successes, Meretz failed to make the electoral threshold in the 2022 elections. In 2024, Golan was elected head of the Labor Party and set the goal of uniting the left-wing parties and making Labor relevant again. However, this task is a major challenge given the political fragmentation and general shift to the right in the Israeli electorate.

According to Israeli media reports, Golan holds degrees from Tel Aviv University and Harvard University. He is an alumnus of the Wexner Israel Fellowship. Golan is married and the father of five sons and grandfather of a granddaughter

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