Last day on the campaign trail

Livni gets unwarm welcome in J'lem; Netanyahu on Old City tour; Peretz in TA.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN, SHEERA CLAIRE FRENKEL
March 27, 2006 12:28
2 minute read.
Last day on the campaign trail

Netanyahu kotel 224 88. (photo credit: AP [file])

 
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In the final campaign stretch run, only a day before Tuesday's elections, each major party, Kadima, Labor and Likud, chose a different finish line for their campaign race on Monday. Likud Chairman Binyamin Netanyahu chose to visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem, while Labor Chairman Amir Peretz chose an upscale Tel Aviv neighborhood. While Olmert was not on the campaign trail on Monday, Kadima's number three, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni made an appearance at Jerusalem's Mahaneh Yehuda marketplace. Netanyahu at Western Wall Likud Chairman Binyamin Netanyahu explained his party's downfall in the polls on Monday by saying that if every Israeli had visited the Old City of Jerusalem, the Likud would win the election. Speaking on a tour of the archaeological part at the junction of the southern and western walls, Netanyahu warned Israelis of the dangers of Kadima and the necessity of keeping the Likud strong. "Without a strong Likud, we will not have sovereignty in Jerusalem," Netanyahu told reporters at the site. "Only a strong Likud can maintain Jerusalem. Kadima will divide Jerusalem." Netanyahu was joined on the tour by Likud MKs Yuval Steinitz, Reuben Rivlin, Limor Livnat, Uzi Landau, Gilad Erdan, Hayim Katz and Yuli Edelstein. Stenitz said that the Kadima candidates who have expressed readiness to negotiate handing over east Jerusalem to the Palestinians are opening up a Pandora's box that would lead to Hamas taking over the Temple Mount. "Without the Likud, Jerusalem is in danger, and without Jerusalem there is no State of Israel," Steinitz said. Peretz in Tel Aviv Labor Party Chairman Amir Peretz spent the last day before elections campaigning in the up-scale Tel Aviv neighborhood of Rothschild Boulevard and passing out red carnations. "Tomorrow we'll show the Israeli public how strong we can be," he told a woman who described herself as an "uptown" lady. The atmosphere surrounding Peretz's Monday morning visit, however, was one of general disinterest towards the entire election affair. "Voting is like growing an apricot tree, they only come to fruit one week of the year, said Peretz, "and during that one week you can pick the fruit. But if you miss it, it goes rotten and all the work you spent growing it is ruined." Livni in Jerusalem's Mahaneh Yehuda market Dozens of right-wing youths thwarted Tzipi Livni's pre-election march through the Mahaneh Yehuda marketplace in Jerusalem on Monday. Police warded off the activists, while Livni's security team was forced to bundle her down a side alley to escape the area. Livni was greeted with chants of, "Kadima is the left!" and "Kadima is Hamas!" as she tried to make her way through the market. Right wing extremists had previously threatened to prevent her visit and held up signs that read, "Jerusalem is voting right" and calling Kadima corrupt. A handful of youth wearing Kadima t-shirts tried unsuccessfully to create an atmosphere of support.

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