Labor event targets voters in Tel Aviv mall
By LAHAV HARKOV
Party goes after Dizengoff Center shoppers in "pop-up shop" event; Yacimovich answers party information hotline: "We are the only party fighting the Netanyahu government."
Labor worked overtime on getting its representatives to speak directly to voters
on Monday, with MKs manning the party’s information line and setting up a
“pop-up shop” in Tel Aviv.
At 5 on Monday afternoon, workers appeared in
the Dizengoff Center mall in Tel Aviv, quickly setting up a stage for speeches
by Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich and candidate Stav Shaffir that was set to be
dismantled immediately after.
Yacimovich arrived in a flurry of confetti
launched by activists on the mall’s upper levels.
“Come help us, because
things here can be better,” she declared, grinning. “If you went shopping today
and noticed prices went up – things can be better for you.”
The Labor leader
also specifically pointed to single mothers as people her party would help,
perhaps in light of recent polls showing a significantly larger number of women
than men are undecided about their vote.
According to Yacimovich, “If we
divide the deficit between the 2 million families in Israel, each will have to
pay NIS 18,000. We say no, we won’t take the bill. Not from the middle class and
the poor. It must be taken from places that are never touched, like Israel
Yacimovich also called for the shoppers watching to vote and
take control of their own lives, as dozens of Labor activists cheered. “Don’t
waste your vote on parties that won’t pass the election threshold [2 percent] or
trendy parties that will join [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu’s government,”
The brief campaign event was modeled after the concept of a
“pop-up shop,” in which designers use a space for days or weeks to sell a limited
Passersby in the mall seemed to be charmed by
Yacimovich’s sudden appearance, with even Likud voters saying they enjoyed
Peretz Aloush, 82 and from Netanya, said he is “a Likud supporter,
but Yacimovich is nice. She doesn’t curse Netanyahu, so I respect her. I
wish her success.”
“Everything is happening on the Internet, so the
street isn’t as stormy [in election time] as it was in the time of [former prime
minister Menachem] Begin,” Aloush added.
"This was so exciting!” said
Zohar Ackerman, 41 and from Tel Aviv, holding a baby. “I was considering voting
for Labor, and this will certainly help me decide. I liked that she talked about
working women juggling a career and children. I’m a single mother, so I know how
hard it is.”
An elderly woman, who is a retired Knesset stenographer and
as such said she cannot give her political opinion, said she found the event to
be “very nice, original and spontaneous,” adding that she hopes elections will
bring a change.
Earlier Monday, Yacimovich and MKs Isaac Herzog, Binyamin
Ben-Eliezer and Daniel Ben-Simon answered calls on an information hotline set
up by the party and advertised on billboards around the country.
Labor MKs, as well as candidates Nadia Hilu and Itzik Shmuli, responded to
questions about the party’s platform and economic plans.
to 16 voters, seven of whom told her they are voting for Labor.
leader told Yesh Atid and The Tzipi Livni Party supporters that “[Yesh Atid
leader Yair] Lapid and [Tzipi] Livni are in Netanyahu’s pocket and only gave
minimal conditions for joining her condition.”
“Do you want to replace
Netanyahu?” she asked voters. “We are the second biggest party and the only one
that wants, can and is fighting to replace the Netanyahu government.”
expressed confidence that she convinced all of those debating between Yesh Atid
and Labor to vote for the latter.
“This is another step in the party’s
effort to convince undecided voters to choose Labor,” a party spokesman
explained. “We hope to reach 25 seats and have Yacimovich put together the next