Tents on a main boulevard in Tel Aviv during a protest for social justice.
Nir Elias / Courtesy Reuters

On a cold Friday afternoon a few weeks ago, several dozen veterans of the Israeli left gathered at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque for the premier of On the Left Side, a documentary about the history of progressive Zionism. With the exception of a shouting match between a few guests and a retired politician, the atmosphere was pleasant, if somber. The attendees lamented their imminent loss in the January 22 Knesset elections but generally enjoyed one another's company. "A bit like a funeral," one of them observed.

The Israeli left indeed appears to be on the verge of yet another overwhelming defeat

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