'Hi, it's Binyamin Netanyahu. No, it's not a prank'
By LAHAV HARKOV
PM, Likud ministers call undecided voters to encourage them to vote Likud-Beytenu, just 5 days before national elections.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called incredulous, undecided voters on
Thursday, in a last-ditch attempt to bring more votes to Likud
“This is Binyamin Netanyahu. No, it’s not a prank. I hope
that you will vote for me next week,” the prime minister said on the phone,
flanked by Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar and Environmental Protection Minister
Gilad Erdan. “Bring your friends and family to vote.”
Netanyahu sat at
the head of a table of Likud ministers and MKs, plus Yisrael Beytenu’s Yair
Shamir, all of whom called undecided voters to convince them to vote for their
parties’ joint list.
“As we near the finish line, we’re targeting those
who haven’t decided who to vote for.
We’ll talk to them through the
press, on the ground and now, personally, on the phone,” Education Minister
Gideon Sa’ar explained as the telephone operation began in his party’s campaign
headquarters in Tel Aviv.
Each of the 15 Likud ministers and MKs received
a list of undecided voters and which party other than Likud Beytenu he or she is
“Hello, this is Ruby Rivlin. I hear you are undecided,” the
Knesset Speaker said, and was told the person on the other side supports the
Bayit Yehudi. Rivlin explained to him that a large Likud Beytenu is necessary to
stand behind Netanyahu and his policies.
MK Miri Regev greeted a voter
casually, saying “Ahalan,” while MK Ofir Akunis asked for back-up in the form of
the prime minister.
“Want to talk to Prime Minister Netanyahu?” Akunis
asked a voter, handing Netanyahu the phone as he entered the
Netanyahu addressed the press squeezed into the small conference
room, describing what he would tell voters on the phone.
“I am calling
for them to vote for Likud Beytenu and not waste their votes on sectorial
parties,” he said.
“I’m saying what we will do if they give us power.
We’ll reform housing and continue opening the market like we did for
The prime minister added that he will only be able to make
those reforms happen if he is backed by a large ruling party.
the undecided voters I spoke to said they want me to be prime minister, so I
told them: Then vote for my party. You can’t strengthen me while weakening my
party,” he added.
As the ministers and MKs made calls, some seven
protesters stood in the street holding signs reading “Bibi is good for the
The protesters banged on drums and chanted “the people demand
social justice” into megaphones, and could be heard in the conference room on
the fifth floor.
When reporters and photographers tried to open windows
to see and hear the demonstration, they were stopped by security.