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Likud not hurrying to start campaign
By GIL HOFFMAN
10/12/2012
Party is content watching Center-Left attack each other, will use rivalry as contrast to the unity on the Right.
 
While ads for Labor, Yesh Atid, and The Tzipi Livni Party are already on billboards across the country, Likud officials said their party was in no hurry to start campaigning.

The officials said the Likud was content watching Center- Left parties attack each other and did not want to distract the public from such infighting in their rival bloc.

“We intend to sit back and watch Shelly Yacimovich and Amir Peretz and Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid attack each other,” a Likud official said.

When the Likud does begin campaigning, it will contrast the unity on the Right that came with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman joining forces with the deep divides on the Left. The word leadership will feature prominently in the Likud’s ads in the slogan “Netanyahu: The Strength to Lead” and in negative ads comparing “Likud leadership” with “parties of political refugees.”

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One well-funded Likud campaign the Likud will begin soon will target national-religious voters to prevent them drifting to the Habayit Hayehudi party of Netanyahu’s former chief of staff Naftali Bennett. The Likud’s religious Zionist campaign team will be led by coalition chairman Ze’ev Elkin and will include MK Tzipi Hotovely and Likud Knesset candidate Moshe Feiglin.

The campaign marks the first time that Netanyahu has authorized taking advantage of Feiglin’s popularity in the religious Zionist public for the Likud’s political gain.

Netanyahu reportedly even sent his right hand man and former chief of staff Natan Eshel to meet with Feiglin.

Feiglin would not confirm that the meeting took place and said the religious Zionist campaign team had not yet met.

A poll of Russian immigrant voters broadcast on Channel 10 Sunday found that 68 percent intend to vote for the joint Likud-Yisrael Beytenu list. No other party was in double figures, as Russian immigrants on the Center-Left split their votes among The Tzipi Livni Party, Labor, Yesh Atid and Kadima.
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