Zionist Union launches outreach efforts to settlers, haredim and other groups

Nachman Shai placed in charge of targeting Anglo immigrants.

February 1, 2016 05:34
2 minute read.
MK Nachman Shai



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The Zionist Union began a new effort Sunday to reach out to sectors that in the past have not supported the Labor Party and its forerunners The party’s MKs have each been assigned responsibility for sectors, including Manuel Trajtenberg in charge of haredim (ultra-Orthodox); Erel Margalit reaching out to the business sector; and Yoel Hasson responsible for West Bank settlers.

Different immigrant communities were also assigned; MK Nachman Shai, a former head of the Israel office of the Jewish Federations of North America, was put in charge of outreach to immigrants to Israel from English-speaking countries.

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“I am happy to take this on, because we need to widen our traditional basis for support and to reach out to new audiences,” Shai said at a launch event in Holon. “If we don’t bring in new supporters, we will never get back to power.”

Shai said he wanted to be the address for English speakers in the Knesset, citing his role in the successful effort to save the IBA English News and his current lobbying to enable I24 online news broadcasts to enter Israeli cable.

“Not enough attention is paid to the needs of English speakers,” Shai said.

Shai will join efforts by the party that have been ongoing since before last year’s election being led by Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai’s foreign affairs adviser, Eytan Schwartz, who organized a parlor meeting for English speakers with Zionist Union MK Hilik Bar last month and was working on more events.

Hasson, who was formerly in the Likud, said he was undaunted by the task of reaching out to residents of settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria, and said the new diplomatic plan of Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog was ideal for settlers of the blocs because it calls for the blocs to absorb evacuated residents of isolated settlements.

“We believe that the ideology of the Zionist Union best guarantees the future of communities like Gush Etzion,” Hasson said. “We offer the best chance to keep the blocs in Israel’s final borders.”

Hasson will even pay a vote-seeking visit to Karnei Shomron, the Samarian community that is home to former Likud MK Moshe Feiglin.

He will also purposely visit unauthorized West Bank outposts and other communities the Zionist Union wants evacuated.

“No matter where our final border will be, we will need to live together after,” Hasson said. “We need to have dialogue no matter what happens.

It is important to show each other that we are not monsters.”

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