Crime scene [illustrative].
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Veteran political strategist Moti Morel, who helped Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu win an election that appeared unwinnable in 1996, died at 66 Tuesday in an accident between a truck and the electric bike he was riding in Tel Aviv.
Paramedics from Magen David Adom who arrived at the scene at Tel Aviv’s Menachem Begin Street declared him dead.
Morel worked for the Likud in 1988, helped Yitzhak Rabin win the premiership in 1992, crafted the successful strategy of Natan Sharansky’s Yisrael B’Aliya Party in 1999, carried Amir Peretz to an unexpected victory in the 2005 Labor Party primary, and worked for Kadima in 2013.
But arguably his greatest accomplishment was the 1996 race, which Netanyahu started 30% behind incumbent Shimon Peres in the polls, following the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, which was blamed by the media on incitement from Netanyahu and his supporters.
Working alongside American strategic guru Arthur Finkelstein and Israeli strategist Eyal Arad, Morel helped craft the slogan “Peres will divide Jerusalem,” enabling Netanyahu to emerge victorious in his first run for prime minister.
“I was very upset to hear of the tragic death of Moti Morel,” Netanyahu said. “Moti was among the best political strategists in Israel. He will be remembered for his professionalism, his wisdom, the sharpness of his thought and his endless energy.”
Morel also wrote the memorable slogans “Israel is waiting for Rabin” for Labor and “Nash Kontrol (our control of the Interior Ministry) for Yisrael B’Aliya. In municipal races, he worked for Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai and Ruvik Danilovich, the mayor of Beersheba. He also worked for many Israeli companies and governmental bodies and the IDF.
He is survived by his four children.