Report: Gaydamak eyeing local elections

Channel 2: Tycoon setting up to run candidates from his Social Justice party throughout Israel.

gaydamak 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
gaydamak 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Billionaire Arkady Gaydamak is setting up the necessary infrastructure to run candidates from his Social Justice party in dozens of local elections throughout Israel, Channel 2 reported Wednesday evening. The Russian tycoon has expended less effort on the country's larger cities - except for Jerusalem, where he intends to run for mayor himself - preferring to cultivate a voter base in smaller communities, the report said. Furthermore, Gaydamak has not limited his efforts to Jewish voters. He has also put out campaign roots both Druse and Beduin communities. According to Channel 2 analyst Sivan Rahav-Meir, the thrust of Gaydamak's message is one of social and economic justice, bypassing traditional political issues of security and diplomacy. The billionaire, who made headlines when he provided free vacations for residents of Sderot, appears to be targeting the disenfranchised voters in Israel's periphery, Rahav-Meir said. A senior Labor party official told Channel 2 that the large political parties shouldn't "make light of Arkady's ability. He can work his way into small communities, and take votes away from the bigger parties there," the official said.