'Make Israel Great Again’ the underlying sentiment at Blue & White launch

“We got 35 mandates, I don’t remember a party from the left or the center wing who got that many mandates,” Toprovsky said.

By BRADLEY LEVIN, REBECCA ARATEN
July 3, 2019 05:49
3 minute read.
'Make Israel Great Again’ the underlying sentiment at Blue & White launch

Yair Lapid addresses Blue and White English-speaking cohort. (photo credit: Courtesy)

“We will be written in the books of history in Israel, and you will be a part of this great chapter,” said MK Boaz Toporovsky at the Blue and White Party’s English branch campaign launch in Tel Aviv.

Toporovsky – along with MKs Yair Lapid, Miki Haimovich, Yorai Lahav Hertzanu and Izhar Shay – spoke at a gathering of English-speaking voters at a bar on Monday evening. They encouraged attendees “to be optimistic” and to view Blue and White as “a true and real alternative” to the current government.

“We got 35 [seats], I don’t remember a party from the Left or the Center who got that many [seats],” Toporovsky said. He went on to explain that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s failure to put together a coalition – something that hasn’t happened in 10 years – presaged success for Blue and White. “We succeeded in preventing Prime Minister Netanyahu from using his magic.”

Hertzanu said the fact that Netanyahu chose to go through the process of a second election demonstrated his fear that Likud would fail in the face of Blue and White. “You should all ask yourselves, if we can’t form a government in the current Knesset, why didn’t Netanyahu return the mandate to the president of Israel?” Hertzanu asked. “Why did he dissolve the parliament and force all of us to go to an unnecessary, very expensive election?”

The speakers attributed part of their success to their English-speaking voters and campaigners, saying that the English-speaking branch of Blue and White is the most active of all the parties and that it has worked to canvass English-speaking voters. “The difference between us and the other parties is that they don’t have something important like we see right now; they don’t have the biggest English-speaking branch in Israel, they don’t have people like you with all the enthusiasm, with all the love, with all the belief and with all the experience,” Toporovsky said.

Lapid unexpectedly arrived in the midst of the event to express his gratitude towards the steadfast Blue and White supporters. “You made the choice to be part of this country, and I think the reason this branch of [Blue and White] is so strong is because people who are capable of making hard choices are always capable of working hard to make these choices the right one,” Lapid said.

The MKs present at the event stressed the centrism of Blue and White and said that it represented all citizens. “We are not a leftist party and we are not a rightist party,” Toporovsky said. “We are a party straight in the center... Gay in the center,” he amended, at Hertzanu’s request.

Blue and White’s plan for the first 100 days has already been set and can be accessed online, and the party already has a long-term plan that, according to Shay, reaches 30 years into the future. Shay also said that establishing peace is an important step that Blue and White hopes to make. “We are going to seek peace, a forbidden word in Israeli politics over the last generation,” he said.

Toporovsky promised a consistent and strongly unified party for the years to come.

“We won’t change our platform, we won’t change our ideals, and we won’t change the spirit of Blue and White,” he said.

Hertzanu added: “Let’s make Israel great again.”

Lapid exited the event after telling those in attendance what his campaign goal was: “My thing in this election is to win,” he said. “This is what I care about, because all those unbelievable things we are talking about, all those things we wrote in the platform – nothing will happen unless we win this election.”


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