Zionist Union seeks to siphon votes from Yesh Atid
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Elections 2015

Zionist Union seeks to siphon votes from Yesh Atid

Herzog says more seats for him will benefit Lapid too; ex-finance minister 'concerned' big parties will cut deal with ultra-Orthodox

Marissa Newman is The Times of Israel political correspondent.

Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid (L) and Zionist Union party leader Isaac Herzog on December 24, 2014. (photo credit: Flash90)
Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid (L) and Zionist Union party leader Isaac Herzog on December 24, 2014. (photo credit: Flash90)

The Zionist Union on Monday launched a last-minute campaign against Yesh Atid, a likely coalition partner for the center-left party, in an effort to siphon votes away from Yair Lapid.

Under the slogan “Lapid fans and undecided [voters]: There will be no revolution if Herzog doesn’t win,” the party maintained that Lapid would benefit from the Zionist Union being the largest party in the Knesset — an argument the ex-finance minister said was “unfounded.”

“We expect some sort of increase for Likud, at the expense of [Naftali] Bennett and [Moshe] Kahlon,” Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog said Monday, according to the Ynet news website, referring to the leaders of the Jewish Home party and Kulanu party, respectively. “Therefore, it’s clear that we must strengthen [our party] from the direction of Yesh Atid, plain and simple.”

Herzog did not rule out forming a coalition with Lapid, but maintained that “anyone who votes Yesh Atid strengthens Bibi [Netanyahu].”

“Whoever wants Yesh Atid in the government needs to vote for us. There is no other choice.”

Lapid responded to the campaign Monday afternoon by urging voters to make their decisions based on their values, rather than “coalition calculations.”

“The president himself said: The party that will form the government is the one that can form a coalition. The claim that they [the Zionist Union] need to grow is unfounded,” Lapid told Ynet.

The Yesh Atid leader said he was “concerned” that Likud and Zionist Union would cut a deal with the ultra-Orthodox parties.

“It concerns me that Netanyahu and Herzog would take money and are willing to hand it over to all sorts of deals with the ultra-Orthodox, to cancel the equality of the burden [draft law], and to reinstate funding for yeshivas,” he said. “If Yesh Atid is not [a] large [party], the public funds will go to the wrong places.”

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