Leaders of Israel’s social-democratic Yahad party have decided to retitle it Meretz-Yahad, reclaiming the name the group had before its current leader, Yossi Beilin, took over.
The move reflected displeasure with Beilin within the party, as well as polls showing it faring poorly in future general elections.
‘Meretz is back, Yahad has gone,’ said Beilin’s predecessor, Knesset member Yossi Sarid. ‘The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away. May the name of the Lord be blessed, and may the name Meretz be blessed.’
In a meeting of party leaders late Sunday, faction chair MK Zehava Gal-On lobbied to change its name back to Meretz. Beilin, however,Ã‚Â insisted that Yahad remain as part of the party’s official name, and the compromise of combining the names was eventually accepted.
‘The party is bringing back the name Meretz in order to remind people who may not know, that Yahad is, in fact, the continuation of the Meretz party,’ Beilin said.
But his party rival, MK Ran Cohen, said ‘One can assume that the second name, Yahad, will wither away in time. I wanted it to drop away today, but there’s no problem, it will drop away in time.’
YahadÃ‚Â (YACHAD, Hebrew acronym for Social-Democratic Israel) is a Jewish-Arab social- democratic party formed by the merger of the Meretz and Shahar parties. It was officially founded on March 31, 2004.
One of its major goals, beside making Israel ‘a state for the Jews and all its citizens,’ is to end the Israeli military occupation of the lands occupied in 1967 and to withdraw all Israeli troops and settlers from them.