Meretz - reaching places other Israelis don't

Meretz may only have three members in the Knesset, yet over the past week or so they have been  considerably helping the cause of peace and justice.

Gal-On and Abbas - photo from Reuters
For instance, while Likud, Kadima, Labour and Foreign Minister Lieberman's own Yisrael Beiteinu Party have done precious little beyond words to foster talks with Palestinians, Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On held a face-to-face meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Similarly, while Labour boycotted the Socialist International meeting in South Africa - even chiding Colette Avital for wishing to travel there on her own steam - Meretz was determined not to see Israel adopt a futile "empty chair" approach. The party thus sent former MK Avshalom Vilan to Cape Town as the sole Israel voice there; and, while not denying that Israel suffers a surfeit of racist violence, he succeeded in blocking a motion that would have deemed Israel to be an "apartheid state".

In both instances Meretz kept vital channels of communication open where others failed to take that opportunity.