Infighting in Blue and White as party falls in polls

“The campaign is ineffective and not sharp,” the report said Yesh Atid officials told Israel Resilience Party officials.

By
March 10, 2019 21:44
2 minute read.
Yair Lapid (L) and Benny Gantz (R)

Yair Lapid (L) and Benny Gantz (R). (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

 
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Bickering between the Israel Resilience and Yesh Atid parties that make up the Blue and White list has intensified, as has frustration following the past week’s drop in the polls, sources in Blue and White told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

The sources said there has been a blame game over who is responsible for the party’s poll numbers going down and party activists have started questioning whether merging the parties was the right move on social media. They confirmed a report on Channel 13 about mutual recriminations between Israel Resilience and Yesh Atid.

“The campaign is ineffective and not sharp,” the report said Yesh Atid officials told Israel Resilience Party officials.

The report said the Resilience officials responded to their counterparts from Yesh Atid: “The campaign worked terrific until you arrived.”

In an official statement, Blue and White responded by saying that there are wonderful relations and teamwork between the party leaders and their advisers and that the reports were “gossip and political spin from stressed political opponents.”

Party officials noted that on Saturday night, the leaders of the party and their spouses had dinner together and the leaders have been campaigning together all over the country.

Blue and White officials could not confirm or deny another Channe 13 report that party leader Benny Gantz pounded on the table when speaking to his campaign team about the polls.

A Midgam poll published Sunday in the Yediot Aharonot newspaper found that if elections would be held now, Blue and White would win 33 seats and Likud 29. The poll of 510 respondents representing a statistical sample of the population had a margin of error of 4.4%.

The previous Midgam poll taken a week before found the gap to be 36 seats to 30.

A poll published in Ha’aretz over the weekend gave Blue and White a 31 to 28 seat lead after the gap was wider there as well. The poll of 800 respondents taken by Dialog had a 3.5% margin of error.

In what could be a blow to Blue and White, Labor is expected to intensify its campaign portraying Blue and White as right-wing. A video circulated on social media of Gantz saying in a private conversation that at a few relatively isolated settements residents would be able to raise great-grandchildren.

Earlier Sunday, former Union of Israeli students head Ram Shefa, who is 29th on the Blue and White Knesset list, confessed that his party isn’t sure how exactly they intend to have separation from the Palestinians.

Claiming that other parties say “very clear things” ahead of elections and then change their minds, Shefa confessed that his own party “speaks about separation [from the Palestinians] but honestly, we still don’t know to say what path to take [to reach this goal].”

Shefa was speaking on the Knesset channel in response to a question if, by separation, Blue and White mean a Palestinian state.

Hagay Hacohen contributed to this report

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