Many Israeli Arabs vote despite predictions of low turnout
LAST UPDATED: 01/22/2013 21:18
The Arab League's call for Israeli Arabs to get out and vote must have had an effect. From the vibe and activity on the street, it appeared that voter turnout would be higher than expected.
The Arab parties all made great efforts to turn out the Arab vote, spreading the message that a no-vote was a vote for a right wing government. Balad MK Haneen Zoabi sent an SMS to her supporters on election day telling them that her party does not accept “living as foreigners or in fear in their homeland.”
Muhammad Samara from the Arab town of Tira said that the Arabs need to go out and vote for one of the Arab parties. He said that the strongest party in Tira is Raam-Taal because of the popularity of Ahmad Tibi there. He said that Balad (National Democratic Alliance) are also strong. He said Hadash also had supporters, but that few voted for Meretz.
Muhammad said that people supported Tibi because of who he is, his personality, not because of his ideology. At around 4:30 p.m. he predicted that around 40% of the town had voted and that in the evening it would grow much more as that was the most popular time to vote. He predicted turnout could go as high as 80%.