National Union leader MK Betzalel Smotrich.
(photo credit: HILLEL MEIR)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will try to trick right-wing voters into leaving smaller parties for the Likud. This is the Union of Right-Wing Parties (URP) campaign message in the final days before the election.
In a video released Sunday afternoon, MK Bezalel Smotrich released a video warning “we knew in advance they’ll come to drink [votes] with a straw.”
Without referring to Netanyahu by name, Smotrich added: “Maybe he will start with a video to Ancient Shiloh and take a photo with the heads of local authorities [in Judea and Samaria] in his office. He will look us in the eyes and ask us to save the right-wing government. He will tell us how important we really are to him and will promise his first phone call [in forming a coalition] will be to us.
“But you know, like I do, that right after the elections, it’ll disappear,” Smotrich warned.
The MK also gave a warning against voting for the New Right without mentioning its leaders by name, saying that they will lament that they don’t have enough votes to get the defense portfolio.
“There’s only one religious-Zionist party, so this time don’t get tempted... Stay home,” Smotrich said.
The video is only one of several campaign messages and videos released by URP in recent days as an attempt to defend itself from a repeat of the 2015 elections, in which the Likud received 30 seats, far more than had been expected, but the other right-wing parties ended up smaller than predicted in most polls.
“It’s amazing how Netanyahu is working exactly according to his [tactic] that everyone knew was coming in advance,” Smotrich wrote on Twitter on Friday. “Except this time, unlike in the last election, he’s playing with fire, and this fire can devour the entire right-wing bloc. We cannot fall for this manipulation.”
URP also sent volunteers to intersections and city centers with the message that they are the party for religious Zionists.
The signs the bloc hung up around the country all talk about the party’s “commitments” – to Torah, to settlements, to Jewish identity and to “more” – a thinly veiled criticism of New Right leaders Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked for leaving Bayit Yehudi, one of the party’s making up URP.
“There will be a lot of spin in the coming days, everyone will try to drink up our votes with different arguments, but it won’t work. The public won’t let the lying spin make religious Zionism disappear,” the party’s spokesman said.
Meanwhile, the New Right has mostly stuck to issues-based messages, though they’ve used humor to convey their messages.
On Saturday night, the party released a video of Shaked singing and Bennett playing the piano and rapping about a divorce between the High Court and the IDF.
“I’ve done you harm for too many years / We tried together until we were tired / We were weak against Hamas,” Shaked sang, as the voice of the High Court.
Another video featured Bennett holding a dove and explaining that he wants peace, but only if it comes in the right way.
“You know what your problem is?” Bennett asks the white dove. “Insecurity. You compromise, you yield, you are naive. That is not how peace is made. Because of you we almost lost our hope. Now, lift up your head. Remember that you are right. Fight, win, give them a real battle – and then, and only then, they will beg you to make peace.”
On Saturday, Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman also sent the message that it’s important to strengthen the right-wing bloc.
“The next government will be right-wing,” he said on Saturday. “The right-wing bloc is strong with 67-68 seats and we will only join a right-wing government.”