Labor turns to 'hamsa' for luck

The new effort features Labor's Knesset candidates next to the popular Mediterranean variant of "knock on wood."

ehud barak happy 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
ehud barak happy 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
Not long after launching an advertising blitz portraying Labor Party chairman Ehud Barak as neither trendy nor nice, but as a leader, the party unveiled the second phase of its election campaign on Thursday evening. The new effort features Labor's Knesset candidates, divided into clusters of four with Barak at the center of each, next to the popular Mediterranean phrase "Hamsa hamsa" (a local variant of "knock on wood"). "We have chosen to send the obvious message: We have the best team," Labor campaign manager Mordi Amar said Thursday. "The message is passed in a surprising and simple way, and at eye-level: we have a quality team that is headed by Ehud Barak." The first ad includes pictures of Labor's leading candidates - Welfare and Social Services Minister Isaac Herzog and MKs Ophir Paz-Pines, Avishay Braverman and Shelly Yacimovich - surrounding Barak. The rest of the ads will show other quintets of Labor contenders gathered around the party leader - women, young candidates, experienced politicians, members of the Arab sector and others. "In the first part of the campaign, we focused on Barak, and now we are introducing our excellent team headed by Barak," said Shalom Keital, the manager of Barak's campaign. "'Hamsa hamsa' is commonly said about something that is good and works, when the subtext is 'don't jinx it,'" added Amar. The ads went up Thursday evening on billboards, buses and the Web sites.