‘Gevalt’ campaigns are back as Yamina, Religious Zionism parties spar

A tried-and true- tactic from previous elections, the so-called “gevalt” campaign, makes an appearance on this election day as well, as various party leaders try to create the impression that they are doing badly or their rivals are doing well.

On the right, a spat breaks out between Naftali Bennett’s Yamina and Bezalel Smotrich’s Religious Zionism parties over whether the latter is in danger of falling beneath the electoral threshold of 3.25% of the votes.

Bennett cites US strategic adviser George Birenbaum claiming Religious Zionism is comfortably above the threshold with at least 6 Knesset seats (4 is the minimum) and is in “no danger,” with Yamina seeking to court voters who are debating between the two.

Religious Zionism director Yehuda Vald responds by saying: “That is how someone who has decided to lie looks. Bennett has decided to wipe out Religious Zionism and thwart a right-wing government.”

Meanwhile, Avigdor Liberman, who leads the Yisrael Beytenu party that has adopted an anti-Haredi stance, warns of “mass turnout” in ultra-Orthodox areas.