Zandberg hits back at critics over use of right-wing spin doctor

New Meretz head goes on interview blitz after report reveals she used right-wing PR guru Moshe Klughaft during primaries.

Tzvi Lev ,

MK Tamar Zandberg
MK Tamar Zandberg
Flash 90

Newly elected Meretz head Tamar Zandberg embarked on an interview blitz after a television report revealing that she was assisted by right-wing PR guru Moshe Klughaft during the primaries caused an uproar among the party faithful.

Speaking with Channel 10's 'Orly and Guy', Zandberg said that the "affair was blown out of proportion".

"What am I accused of?" asked the newly minted Meretz leader. "I conducted a beautiful campaign, clean, optimistic, and successful."

Zandberg said while she was in contact with Klughaft, "he did not work for the campaign or run any part of it".

In a separate interview with Army Radio, Zandberg hit back at Zionist Union leader Avi Gabbay, who had said that it would be better for Meretz not to pass the electoral threshold than to use Klughaft as an advisor. "For Gabbay to preach to me is unprecedented hypocrisy- we won't let the Zionist Union grade us," responded Zandberg.

Zandberg had come under attack after a Hadashot report on Saturday night revealed that she had been advised by Klughaft, a PR whiz known for working with right-wing clients such as Naftali Bennett, the Jewish Home, and the Im Tirtzu advocacy group. Zandberg had initially denied the report but later admitted that she had been advised by Klughaft, who she claimed was a friend, at no charge..

"I am very fond of Tamar, I was happy that she was elected, but I think there are limits," fumed former Zionist Union head Shelly Yachimovich, "Klughaft is one of the leaders in the discourse of incitement and racism."

Zandberg was elected as Meretz chairwoman after winning 71.12% of the vote in the party primaries last week. Zandberg, who has served as a member of the Knesset since 2013, will replace outgoing party leader Zehava Galon.