New Meretz leader's 'secret' adviser exposed

Political strategist Moshe Klughaft admits he advised MK Tamar Zandberg in the race for the leadership of Meretz.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Tamar Zandberg
Tamar Zandberg
Elior Cohen/TPS

MK Tamar Zandberg, who was elected as the new leader of the leftist Meretz party last Thursday, was asked several times whether political strategist Moshe Klughaft, who is known for creating an aggressive campaign against the left, had advised her during her election campaign and denied that he did, calling claims that he advised her a "blatant lie."

However, Hadashot TV on Saturday night aired an interview with Klughaft, who admitted in his own words that he had worked with Zandberg.

Klughaft, who previously advised Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett and ran a campaign against the New Israel Fund, also assisted former Zionist Union MK Erel Margalit. Klughaft said he met Zandberg on the set of a television series he wrote and which will soon air on Israeli cable television.

"I recognized that she could complete the process [of winning the Meretz leadership], mirroring the process Bennett did in 2012," Klughaft explained in the interview. "A person in their 40s who joins a party that is on the ropes, wakes it up and says, 'No apologies.' Zandberg's campaign included the phrase ‘stop apologizing’, just like the commercials starring Bennett in the last election campaign.”

Zandberg said in response, "My successful campaign was managed by Nissim Doek and the Unique company which he heads. During the campaign, there were a number of talented people who gave me advice based on their own experience. One of them was Moshe Klughaft, who approached me on his own initiative to give me advice as part of his experience in the generational revolution that he led in the Jewish Home. As opposed to what was said in the report, Klughaft was never employed by or worked in the campaign. I am grateful for all the advice I received. In my capacity as Meretz chairwoman, Nissim Doek and Unique will continue to lead Meretz's strategy."

Zandberg was elected as Meretz chairwoman after winning 71.12% of the vote in the party primaries, marking the first time that Meretz has held primaries.

Zandberg, who has served as a member of the Knesset since 2013, will replace outgoing party leader Zehava Galon.

Both Galon as well longtime Meretz MK Ilan Gilon withdrew from the leadership race last month.