Israeli Politicians Making Last-Minute Appeals for Votes

Analysts Weigh in With Risks and Highlights

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Posted on: 
26 Feb 2020
Israeli Politicians Making Last-Minute Appeals for Votes
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted cautiously to US Senator Bernie Sanders accusation, aired during a debate between Democrats vying for their party’s nomination in the upcoming US Presidential election, that he is a racist. "I am not intervening in the US election," Netanyahu replied when asked on Army Radio about Sander’s statement.  "What I think about this matter is that he is definitely wrong. No question about it."

Elsewhere, Blue and White Party leader MK Benny Gantz gave a fiery speech in  Kfar Maccabiah Wednesday evening during which he said, among other things, that Netanyahu is conducting a “hate crime against democracy” by slandering his political opponents in various ways. He also demanded during his speech that the Central Elections Committee closely monitor Likud for signs of foul play as Israelis head to the polls on Monday. In reference to the criminal investigations pending against Netanyahu, he also accused the incumbent Prime Minister of creating “a culture of crime, of state witnesses. A culture of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.”

Netanyahu responded to Gantz’s speech later in the evening at a Likud event in Jerusalem, saying: “I heard Gantz say we are dividing Israeli society, but in his party, Blue and White, they incite all day and night and then complain about incitement.”

Elsewhere, Amir Peretz, the titular leader of the Labor-Gesher-Meretz faction in Monday’s election, said on Thursday morning that his price for entering a governing coalition would be the appointment of an Arab MK to be a Minister. He also complained about the statements made against Ultra-Orthodox (haredi) Israelis and Arab-Israelis by some Blue and White officials, further complicating the picture for Blue and White which is counting on support from Labor-Gesher-Meretz to form a coalition following Monday’s elections.