As Israeli municipal elections draw near, Yesh Atid has reverted to its anti-chareidi campaign tactics in the city of Holon.
In a video that has provoked a storm of condemnation, Yesh Atid candidate Ilan Gazit exhorts his supporters to get out and vote, lest the chareidim take over the city.
“On Election Day you will enjoy a day off, but they will vote. You, the secular people, will go for a picnic, shopping, spend some money, but they will go to vote,” said Gazit in front of a picture of chareidim casting their votes.
“You say that your vote does not matter and everything is sold in advance, but they will go to vote,” continued Gazit. “You say you do not believe anyone, and everyone just promises, but they’ll just go and vote.”
If “we do not wake up,” he warned, there will be even more chareidi members in the Holon municipal council than the current five members.
A number of online comments criticized the video for being “divisive” and “inciting.”
“Could you be more inciting? Disgraceful!” said one.
Some people made the comparison to the clip of Prime Minister Netanyahu released during the 2015 elections warning his constituents that “The Arabs are voting in droves.”
It was a statement for which Mr. Netanyahu was widely excoriated, and for which he later apologized, though he denied any racist intent.
Gazit, meanwhile, only doubled down in the face of the criticism, with more talk of “chareidi coercion,” and a vow to “continue to fight for the good of residents and no one will silence us.”