Israeli Gay Activist Announces Running for the Leadership of Left Wing Party

Avi Buskila, “Shalom Achshav” (‘Peace Now’) leader announced that he will run for the leadership of the left wing party Meretz. “It is our duty to take the reins to defeat nationalism and to create a strong democratic reality.”

Gili Yaari/Flash90

Outspoken, Mizrachi, war-hero ex-army sergeant, and gay activist, Avi Buskila, announced Sunday that he was resigning as Peace Now director general in order to run for the leading position in the Meretz party – just three days after Tamar Zandberg announced that she would run herself and can lead the party to 10 seats in the Knesset.

In a post published on Facebook, Buskila explained: “I was debating whether to resign from my job as Executive Director of Peace Now and jump into the race for Meretz’ leadership. it’s not an easy decision,” and added that he finally made the decision following a memory of a soldier who was killed in Operation Protective Edge: “The pain that I was feeling brought me closer to the truth, forced me to open my eyes to see and know that we lost him in a war without a real purpose, a war that ended with the knowledge that it will return. It was a war that the person who sent us to it is also someone who did nothing to prevent it.”

In the post, Buskila explained that he wanted to bring new audiences to the party, and added that although he had voted for Meretz all his life, he said, “Like a rusty old ship that has not touched the water, we are stuck in the sand instead of pushing ourselves into the water.” Buskila also dismissed claims made in part of the leftist camp and wrote: “No one stole the state, it is we who gave it up without notice, and it’s time to fight for it as it deserves to be fought for.”

Buskila did not spare the criticism of the national camp as well. “The right divides the people,” he said. “They use all the tricks and press the history buttons in a manipulative and sinister way, and what does the left do, instead of really confronting and breaking this message? We are entrenched and allow for manipulation to win. Instead of saying: we are worthy of you, and you are worthy of us. We are your political home. And we will fight together with you for the future and for the best values ​​for our country, for all of us.”