Netanyahu starts effort to woo votes from parties on Right

The prime minister has until now been very careful not to take votes away from right-wing parties such as Yisrael Beytenu, Kulanu and Shas.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)
 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began a new campaign on Friday to take seats away from the Likud's satellite parties on the Right.
He had been careful not to try to take votes from parties like Yisrael Beytenu, Kulanu and Shas until now, because they are in danger of not crossing the 3.25% electoral threshold.
But on Friday morning, he came out to Likud activists outside his Jerusalem residence and warned them that his rule was in danger. Just before Shabbat, he taped a video message saying that Blue and White leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid could form the next coalition. 
"At the moment, Lapid and Gantz are leading us by four or five mandates," he said. "If it won't change, Lapid and Gantz will break the Right bloc and form a left-wing government. It is not imaginary."
Netanyahu noted that Gantz and Lapid have said they have already negotiated with parties in the Likud's bloc. 
"There is only one way to guarantee that Lapid and Gantz won't form a left-wing government, and that is to vote Likud," Netanyahu said. Only a large Likud will bloc a left-wing government. If you stay home, if you don't vote Likud, you voted for Lapid and Gantz."
A right-wing rally that had been set for Jerusalem on Sunday night was canceled. The reason given for the cancellation was security, but political sources said the real reason was that parties to the Right of Likud were unwilling to send their supporters to hear Netanyahu speak.