Israel elections: Politicians enter final preparations as voting day nears

Labor on Saturday night held a rally in memory of former Labor leader and prime minister Yizhak Rabin, who was assassinated on November 4, 1995.

 A NEARLY-EMPTY Knesset plenum debates the dispersal of parliament, in June. In the upcoming election, be a strategic and principled voter, not a tactical and cynical one, says the writer.  (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
A NEARLY-EMPTY Knesset plenum debates the dispersal of parliament, in June. In the upcoming election, be a strategic and principled voter, not a tactical and cynical one, says the writer.
(photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

Politicians and political candidates began to wrap up their campaigns and preparations over the weekend ahead of Tuesday's election. In accordance with Israeli law, no more polls will be published until the exit polls begin at 10 p.m. on Tuesday evening.

On Saturday, Meretz and Hadash Ta’al continued their strategy of calling people to vote for them so they won’t fall under the electoral threshold, known colloquially as “gevalt” campaigns.

Hadash Ta’al, led by MKs Ayman Odeh and Ahmad Tibi, held a press conference in Shfaram calling on Jewish Israelis to vote for them.

"Your vote is important. We have a clear platform; clear ethical positions that many of you can identify with," Tibi said.

Odeh and Tibi defined it as an “emergency conference” in order to encourage Israeli Arabs to vote, after the last polls showed that less than 50% are intending to do so.

Meretz leader Zehava Galon was clear about her "gevalt" campaign

"I am not just running a 'gevalt' campaign, I am crying out the mother of all cries – if Meretz does not pass the electoral threshold, [opposition leader MK Benjamin Netanyahu] is assured victory," she said on Channel 12's Meet the Press.

"I am not just running a 'gevalt' campaign, I am crying out the mother of all cries – if Meretz does not pass the electoral threshold, [opposition leader MK Benjamin Netanyahu] is assured victory,"

Meretz leader Zehava Galon

On Saturday night, Netanyahu visited Bnei Brak in his “Bibibus,” after reports last week indicated that voting percentages among haredi voters were lagging.

Shas leader and former MK Aryeh Deri said on Saturday evening that he supported the policy put forward by Religious Zionism Party (RZP) head MK Bezalel Smotrich to get rid of the fraud and breach of trust offenses from the criminal code. Unlike Smotrich, Deri said that he did support legislating a new law that was clearly defined if necessary.

RZP put out a video on Saturday evening in response to Yesh Atid MK Ram Ben Barak's comment comparing proposed legislation limiting the power of the High Court to policies in Nazi Germany.

The video included harsh quotes by Lapid, Hadash-Ta'al MK Ofer Casif and former Labor politician Avraham Burg against RZP.

"While they are filled with hatred, we will continue to love the people of Israel, the Torah of Israel and the Land of Israel," the video said.

Rally in memory of former Labor leader and prime minister Yizhak Rabin

Labor on Saturday night held a rally in memory of its former leader and prime minister Yizhak Rabin, who was assassinated on November 4, 1995. The rally was held at Zion Square in Jerusalem, the same place where, a month before Rabin’s assassination, Netanyahu waved from a balcony as protesters held placards that said “Rabin is a traitor.”

 Israelis attend a memorial ceremony for late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, in Zion Square, Jerusalem, October 29, 2022. The large sign reads ''Bibi, Ben-Gvir and Smotrich are destroying the foundations of Israeli democracy.'' (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90) Israelis attend a memorial ceremony for late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, in Zion Square, Jerusalem, October 29, 2022. The large sign reads ''Bibi, Ben-Gvir and Smotrich are destroying the foundations of Israeli democracy.'' (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

"A great and brave Israeli leader who led Israel to great achievements and peace - was called here, by many people, a traitor. Here they shouted 'death to Rabin'," Labor leader Merav Michaeli said in her speech at the rally.

"Here [Otzma Yehudit leader] Itamar Ben Gvir handed out the poster of Rabin in an SS uniform – the same Itamar Ben-Gvir who now disguises himself as a care bear and is trying to hide and rewrite history,” she said.

"On that balcony, over those chants, stood the leader of the Likud, who organized the demonstration. Other members of the Likud at the time, who were also opposed to the Oslo Accords – Benny Begin, David Levy and Dan Meridor – left the balcony. They were not ready to be part of that terrible incitement. But not the Likud chairman. He stood over it smiling and with great pleasure, satisfied with his great success,” Michaeli said.

“Anyone who denies that Yitzhak Rabin’s murder was political and that the incitement against him was organized and planned against him, are complicit with the instigators who stood here in Zion Square in their attempts to rewrite history,” she said. “They share responsibility for the fact that large sections of our youth and IDF soldiers do not know the truth, but only the lies they were fed about why and how a prime minister in Israel was assassinated.”