With less than 24 hours remaining until polls open, party leaders on Monday rushed to get final photo-ops at sites symbolically significant to their respective parties.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Jerusalem’s Menachem Begin Heritage Center, dedicated to the prime minister who first brought the Likud to power in 1977.
Outgoing Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon and Jerusalem’s Mayor Nir Barkat joined the prime minister for his tour of the center. Netanyahu on Sunday named Kahlon the new chairman of the Israel Land Administration in what was described by opposition leaders as an elections ploy, and Barkat threw his hat in with Netanyahu on Monday.
“You and your government have strengthened Jerusalem in an unprecedented way,” Barkat said. “I support you and know you will continue to lead with pride. I am confident that you will continue to defend Jerusalem, united against all international pressures.”
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid visited his campaign headquarters in the southern city of Beersheba and denounced Kahlon’s appointment as head of the ILA, calling it clear-cut political spin.
“‘Chicken’ is a polite way to describe what [Netanyahu] did. I have been saying for months that housing is one of the biggest problems for the Israeli middle class and suddenly they’re reminded,” he said.
Hatnua leader Tzipi Livni took a spin around Tel Aviv’s Azrieli Mall, a throbbing symbol of secular Israeli culture. Joined by dozens of supporters, Livni went store to store, but not to shop.
“Tomorrow’s elections are not shopping, it’s a life decision,” she said.
Though her stay was short, her appearance inspired at least one person to express support for her. “You gave your all during the Second Lebanon War, and therefore I will vote for you,” Ynet quoted a shopper at the mall saying.
Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett highlighted his religious and security credentials by praying at Jerusalem’s Western Wall and visiting homes in southern Israel damaged by rockets fired during November’s Operation Pillar of Defense.
Bennett was photographed at a Rishon Lezion home destroyed by a Fajr rocket in November.
At the Western Wall, Bennett was reportedly heckled by ultra-Orthodox men who had gathered there, one of whom reportedly told him he had hutzpa and should remove his yarmulke.
“You want to draft our kids to the army; our mothers cry at night,” Ynet quoted the man saying.
Bennett responded, “I love you.”
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