Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid 370.
(photo credit: Efrat Sa'ar)
With the announcement that Yesh Atid would be the second-largest party in the
Knesset with an estimated 18-19 seats according to exit polls, the party’s
headquarters in Tel Aviv exploded in celebration Tuesday night.
atmosphere was electric, with the Yesh Atid jingle booming from every direction
and the Knesset members dancing with joy.
Adi Kol, No. 9 on the list,
told The Jerusalem Post
that Yesh Atid was “absolutely the source of the higher
voter turnout” that was reported.
Karen Alharar, No. 10, said she was
“surprised,” adding that “the surveys and campaign were up and down, but we were
Alharar implied the party would join the next
coalition, saying it would have a significant role in a future
“[We are] very powerful. We’re now the second-largest party
in Israel,” she said.
Shimon Solomon, No. 12, said he was “very happy”
but added that he and other candidates would have to wait for the “official
results.” He also refused to say whether Yesh Atid would join the next
Anglo candidate Dov Lipman expressed shock that he was
expected to enter the next Knesset at No.
17 on the party’s
“It’s overwhelming – the sense of responsibility to the country and
to Anglos,” he told the Post
. “We have great things to do.”
Earlier in the day, Yesh Atid Knesset candidates crisscrossed the country
fighting for every vote they could garner.
At least 19 members of the
party’s list personally stopped in cities or towns all over the country, with
party leader Yair Lapid himself visiting several.
Lapid voted at 9:30
a.m. on Tuesday at an elementary school in Ramat Aviv Gimmel, according to a
release from the party.
After casting his ballot, he said that voting was
“not just a democratic right, it is a democratic obligation,” and that voters
should “vote for whomever you will vote for; the main thing is to go to
Lapid spent most of the morning campaigning in the North, in
Haifa, Kiryat Motzkin, Kiryat Bialik and Hadera, before moving on to Netanya and
later giving a speech to his supporters at 4 p.m. in Tel Aviv.
Piron, No. 2 on the party’s list, said he was “shocked about the volume of
undecided voters” who voted for Yesh Atid.
“Voting for Yesh Atid is
crossing sectors, and the momentum on the ground may make it possible for us to
be the second- biggest party in Israel,” he said.
Herzliya Mayor Yael
German, the party’s No. 3, said, “The Israeli middle class stands before a
historic point” at which “the majority of taxpaying and army-serving Israelis
will be represented by a party that will guard their interests.”
the exit polls were announced, Lipman told the Post outside a polling station in
Modi’in that it had been “amazing to see the results of what you’ve done. People
are so excited to see an Anglo candidate.”
He added that “today, more
than at any other time of the campaign, people want to hear about me
specifically, because I might get in.”
Until now, he emphasized, he had
been hammering away with the party’s messages, such as equalizing the burden of
army and national service. On that issue he got into a feisty debate with a
haredi (ultra- Orthodox) supporter of Shas who was being paid to hand out
materials for Likud.
“Lapid does not like haredim.
What can we get
from him?” the man asked.
Lipman responded by talking about his son, who
was both studying Torah and working, and quoted traditional Jewish sources
supporting working for a living. He also questioned the man’s principles in
standing by Shas and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, but being willing to get paid to hand
out Likud materials.
Lipman also greeted and spoke to a few dozen voters
in the course of an hour – including Modi’in Mayor Haim Bibas – before heading
to another round of campaigning in Beit Shemesh. •