Yair Shamir attacks Bayit Yehudi Anglo campaign

No. 2 on Yisrael Beytenu list defends Liberman, calls fraud, breach of trust charges against Liberman "b******t."

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
December 19, 2012 02:05
2 minute read.
Yair Shamir

Yair Shamir 370. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 
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Former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman’s No. 2 in Yisrael Beytenu, Yair Shamir, unleashed an attack on Bayit Yehudi’s efforts to attract English-speaking voters Tuesday, saying that Yisrael Beytenu was the only party with a serious track record of working on behalf of immigrants from English-speaking countries.

Shamir spoke a day after Bayit Yehudi released a video in English featuring party chairman Naftali Bennett and other candidates speaking in English to potential voters.

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“We deal with issues affecting Anglo immigrants all year long and not just for a campaign,” Shamir said. “There is a difference between a campaign for elections and a party that has aliya as one of its main objectives, just like there is a difference between boys and men.

“There are those who just make a video clip to earn some votes for elections. Our commitment is much deeper than that,” he said.

Shamir has personally held events for English-speaking voters in Jerusalem and Ra’anana, he spoke in Modi’in Tuesday night and he will be in Netanya next week.

Yisrael Beytenu candidates Uzi Landau and David Rotem are also holding English campaign events.

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Noticeably absent from the campaign circuit is former foreign minister Danny Ayalon, who starred in Yisrael Beytenu’s English campaign events in 2009 but was unceremoniously dropped from the party’s list by Liberman.

“Anglo immigrants are great audiences,” Shamir said. “They are good listeners, they are very polite, and you can have civilized discussions with them in the question and answer period. They give you a feeling they are able to be persuaded.”

Shamir has run a nonprofit organization that helps immigrants and he has strong ties to Nefesh B’Nefesh, the organization that brings immigrants to Israel from North America. He also understands French and has spoken at events for immigrants from France.

Asked what he tells those who question the cleanliness of a party led by a man soon to be indicted, Shamir said he had full confidence that justice would be served and Liberman would be found innocent in the Belarus Ambassador Affair.

He mocked the State Attorney’s Office for deciding not to indict him in the straw companies case.

“They have been after him since 1996, and he has never been given a chance to respond to the allegations against him,” Shamir said. “People think he took millions [from straw companies], which is b******t. They didn’t even have enough evidence to indict him. I empathize with him.”

He continued: “Now 40 days before the election, they indict him on something so minor. Come on, give me a break. Someone obviously has an agenda against him.”

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