Likud's win: The 'second Israel' has spoken

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
March 18, 2015 09:37

Netanyuhu's appeal to an historically under-served part of Israeli society helped propel him to victory.

1 minute read.



Le blues des élections

Le blues des élections. (photo credit:ELI NEEMAN)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s impressive victory in Tuesday’s election can be explained by going back to the early days of the state.

Ashkenazi immigrants from Eastern Europe were seen as having an unfair advantage over their Sephardi counterparts from North Africa and the Middle East. The people, who are called “the second Israel,” have complained since then that the “elites” in the Left, the media and academia have discriminated against them.

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The “second Israel” did not like the way the media seemed to be deposing Netanyahu and bringing to power the Left under the leadership of Zionist Union leaders Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni. The two were raised not far from each other in northern Tel Aviv, and both are the children of former Knesset members.

The Zionist Union inadvertently played into Netanyahu’s hands with a campaign of “anyone but Bibi.”

Zionist Union campaign strategist Reuven Adler, who joined the campaign late, said Wednesday morning that he was against that strategy from the start. By contrast Likud strategist Aron Shaviv got the Right correct. He sent the prime minister to give countless interviews – it made him look like he was panicking (and he was), but the public got the message.

Many who considered staying home, or voting for one of the Likud’s satellite parties, hurried to the polling stations to cast ballots for the Likud.

People who had not voted in years – or at least not for the Likud – felt the need to save Israel from the Left, Iran and a hostile international community.

On Monday, Shaviv released a poll that for the first time, less than 50 percent of the public thought Netanyahu would form the next government.

Shaviv said, at the time, that if it got closer to 40% the Likud would win the election.

In Netanyahu’s appeal to the “second Israel’ he succeeded, and because of that, he won a fourth term.

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