Report: Likud Ready With Messages on Arab, Leftist Voting – Before the Elections

YERUSHALAYIM -
israel election
A blind man touches ballot papers at an accessible polling station in the Multi-Service Center for the Blind in Yerushalayim, in the April 9 elections. (Reuters/Ronen Zvulun)

The polls have yet to open, but the Likud is apparently already concerned that the left will outvote it and the right, at least according to recordings that Ha’aretz published Monday. The newspaper revealed the existence of messages that will be sent on Tuesday to voters that claim that “according to the information we have, the left and the Arabs are voting in droves,” thus exhorting rightwing voters to get to the polls and choose Likud.

The messages will be familiar to any Israeli voter with a telephone, with the voice of Binyamin Netanyahu, Benny Gantz, or whichever party is sponsoring the call, describing the dire situation the party faces and urging supporters to go to the polls. While the impression among voters is that these messages are sent out in response to real-time events, that is not the case for the Likud, Ha’aretz said.

According to the report, the Likud recordings have already been prepared, and are scheduled to be sent Tuesday at various times of the day to blocks of phone numbers. A message scheduled for 4:30 p.m. to be sent to residents of Yehudah and Shomron, for example, features the voice of Binyamin Region Council head Yisrael Gantz saying, “All my life I have dedicated to settling the Land of Israel. We are at a critical moment. According to reports, the voting percentage rate in Arab towns is very high. If Binyamin Netanyahu does not form the next government, we are liable to find ourselves with a building freeze.” Other similar messages sent by government ministers, community leaders and Netanyahu himself will be sent out at different times, aimed at various groups.

The Likud had no official comment. In a social media post, a Likud source said that “we are hoping for the best, but we are also realistic – and there is nothing wrong on being prepared for what usually happens anyway.”