Blue & White reaches out to Arab voters in bid to defeat Likud

With polls showing the Likud holding narrow but consistent lead, Blue and White ratchets up efforts to win over Arab voters.

David Rosenberg ,

Benny Gantz at Kiryat Ono event, August 7th, 2019
Benny Gantz at Kiryat Ono event, August 7th, 2019

The Blue and White party is ratcheting up its campaign efforts in the Arab sector, hoping that Israeli Arab voters will help the party close the gap with the Likud, and potentially help Blue and White remove Binyamin Netanyahu from office after more than a decade since he returned to the premiership in 2009.

According to a report by Israel Hayom Friday morning, Blue and White party officials say that in addition to pumping hundreds of thousands of shekels into the party’s ad campaign targeting Arab voters, Blue and White has also substantially increased its outreach efforts.

In late July, Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz appeared on HalaTV, Israel’s most widely viewed Arabic television channel, and gave an interview to the Arabic PANET website.

Since then, all four of the Blue and White’s leaders – Benny Gantz, Yair Lapid, Gabi Ashkenazi, and Moshe Yaalon - have appeared in interviews on Arabic-language media outlets, including an appearance Thursday by MK Moshe Yaalon on HalaTV.

The bid to win over Arab voters is being led by attorney Ruth Wachsman and MK Ram Ben-Barak, the latter of whom prepped MK Yaalon, one of the four leaders of the Blue and White party, for his appearance on an Arabic television outlet.

According to the Israel Hayom report, Blue and White party leaders had initially been skeptical of the plan to court Arab voters, but after lengthy efforts by MK Ben-Barak, were ultimately convinced the make the investment.

The center-left party’s change of heart comes amid polls showing the ruling Likud party with a narrow but consistent lead over Blue and White.

Of the polls released in August, all but one show the Likud leading the Blue and White party.

Prior to the April 9th election, Blue and White held a one-to-two seat lead over the Likud, but on election day came in second, with 26.13% to the Likud’s 26.46%