Parties ready to bring out Anglo vote

Lapid sends letter to English-speaking voters outlining party platform; Bayit Yehudi's Gimpel holds event for English speakers.

January 21, 2013 02:24
2 minute read.
Yair Lapid at first Yesh Atid conference

Yair Lapid 370. (photo credit: Ricardo Mallaco)


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If you live in a neighborhood with a lot of English speakers, don’t be surprised if multiple parties approach you outside polling stations Tuesday in English and seek your vote.

Parties from across the political spectrum will be sending volunteers to polling stations in Jerusalem, Ra’anana, Modi’in, Netanya, Beit Shemesh, and Gush Etzion. Some parties are even calling prospective voters to see if they need assistance getting to polling stations.

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid sent a letter to English-speaking voters on Sunday and also released a video. In the letter, which had over 13,000 views on Facebook in half a day, Lapid outlined his party platform and praised immigrants from English- speaking countries.

“English-speakers are classically dreamers and optimists who feel empowered to be part of the solution,” Lapid wrote. “That is why Yesh Atid is your natural political home.”

Yesh Atid English campaign director Dov Lipman said he had built up a list of 200 volunteers who he met at his nightly parlor meetings who would be active on election day to get out the vote. He held an event in Netanya on Sunday night with 250 people.

Lipman said his party was bolstered in recent weeks by voters who shifted allegiance from Bayit Yehudi after they decided the party was too right-wing for them.

Recent polls showing the party rising also gave some people the impression that Lipman, who is 17th on the list, could have an outside chance of making it into the Knesset.

Bayit Yehudi English campaign manager Jeremy Saltan revealed that despite the controversy over Atlanta-born Knesset candidate Jeremy Gimpel’s comments on the Temple Mount, Gimpel held a successful event for English speakers in Netanya on Saturday night.

Gimpel and Detroit-born Chicago-raised Uri Bank, who is 19th on the list, divided up polling stations where they will tour on election day. The party has hundreds of English-speaking volunteers who signed up in the nightly parlor meetings held by Gimpel and Bank.

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Yisrael Beytenu has been doing its part to bring out the vote of English speakers with nightly events featuring candidates Yair Shamir and Uzi Landau and former MK Zvi Hendel and smaller parlor meetings run by party officials.

Volunteers from Yisrael Beytenu have been manning booths in English-speaking population centers since Wednesday, and they will continue until polls close Tuesday night. The party also has the largest English online presence.

The Likud, which is running together with Yisrael Beytenu, has held several English-speaking events, including one Sunday night in Tel Aviv with MK Tzipi Hotovely.

The Tzipi Livni Party sent out emails in English on Sunday to attract last-minute support.

Livni will be meeting Sunday with Reform and Conservative rabbis and representatives.

On election day, American-born candidate Alon Tal and volunteers will tour polling stations in English-speaking communities on bicycles.

The Central Election Committee’s English hotline to help people find out where to vote is 1-800-200-135.

Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.

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