Labor chairman Avi Gabbay speaking at Expo Tel Aviv.
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI)
Labor leader Avi Gabbay pleaded with supporters of his party at a rally at Expo Tel Aviv on Monday to not vote for the Blue and White Party of Benny Gantz as a tactical step to defeat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Polls have indicated that some two-thirds of those who cast ballots for the Zionist Union bloc formed by Labor and Tzipi Livni in 2015 intend to vote for Blue and White in the April 9 election. To woo them back, Gabbay used a parking analogy, noting that in Israel, curbs of legal paid parking are painted blue and white.
“Those who park in blue and white should not be surprised if they are towed to the Right,” Gabbay said, noting hawkish statements made recently by some Blue and White candidates.
Gabbay said a Channel 13 report of Gantz saying on tape that he has not locked the door on joining that Labor is proof that Labor is the only safe vote for change.
At the event, Gabbay outlined a new socioeconomic plan calling for the minimum wage to be raised to NIS 7000 a month. The party’s top candidates then took turns delivering short speeches outlining the party’s platform.
“The diplomatic service has been purposely weakened under Netanyahu,” MK Merav Michaeli lamented in her speech. “Israel needs a professional, functioning Foreign Ministry, not fractions of ministries sidelined while diplomacy is conducted by [Netanyahu’s] cousins.”
Michaeli said the government must repair relations with American Jews that were weakened by Netanyahu and fight antisemitism around the world.
After the speeches, the event became a massive dance party in honor of the upcoming Purim holiday. The candidates danced with the crowd to the music of Eurovision Song Contest winner Netta Barzilai.
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