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Door-to-Door Nationalist Campaign Begins

Right-wing MKs, yeshiva students and other volunteers are working intensively together to increase support for the right-wing nationalist camp.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 3/5/2006, 8:44 AM / Last Update: 3/3/2006, 12:41 PM

In some yeshivot, the students have been asked to volunteer two evenings of their busy schedule for the cause. Knesset Members of the right-wing parties are traveling around the country canvassing support for the initiative, and it is viewed as "the thing to do" in many Yesha communities and centers. What is it? The campaign to increase votes for the right-wing parties.

Susie Dym, coordinator of the Cities of Israel grassroots organization from her home in Rehovot, is also coordinating a face-to-face campaign to bring more votes to the right-wing camp. Her group advises volunteers to follow this method:

a. Find a volunteer leader in your area, and hook up to and help him/her.

b. If you plan to visit homes, simply pick a street and start visiting. Mail the list of addresses you plan to visit to Cities of Israel so there will not be duplication.

c. If you plan to phone voters, choose a phone book, a page and a column, and start calling. Again, inform Cities of Israel what page you are working on.

d. In your conversation, simply say: "Hi, is there any Israeli citizen over age 18 that I can talk to here?" When an eligible family member takes the phone, explain, "I'm one of the volunteers who are working all over the country now, to ask people to vote for a right-wing or religious party. Can we expect your vote on election day?" If the person says yes, ask if he needs transportation. If he is considering voting for Kadima, explain why the Likud or another party is a better choice. If they are considering the Likud, explain why the National Union/NRP or the like might be preferable. Etc., etc. Someone who appears right-wing but says he doesn't plan to vote also needs persuading.

e. Carefully record the name, party preference, and cell phone number of each person who is going to vote for the right, so that they can be reminded, or be offered transportation, etc. Stay tuned for instructions on what to do with it as Election Day approaches.

f. Spread the word in your synagogue or community!

Volunteers in various locations around the country have already begun working. In the northern town of Maalot, for instance, a group of over 30 volunteers has been enlisted; they prefer to go door-to-door, rather than call by phone, and will begin actual canvassing on Sunday or Monday. In the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo, a core-group has been formed, and it also expects to begin work within the coming days.

Susie Dym herself says she finds the work rewarding and easier than she thought. "I hate calling," she told Arutz-7's Ruti Avraham, "and I thought it would be very nerve-racking, but it turned out to be the opposite. It went very smoothly, and I managed to make 48 calls in an hour and a quarter."

"I simply asked if we could count on their vote on Election Day. I felt that they were surprised and even moved to hear from a genuine volunteer in this period of corruption and cynicism. I think the fact that I was a volunteer made a better impression than any other argument I raised."

"I spent extra time with those who said they were undecided - and it wasn't hard to persuade them. I felt that they were just waiting for a long time for someone to call and show interest in them."

Two members of the National Union/NRP list, MK Uri Ariel and #13 candidate Orit Strook, have visited concentrations of right-wing voters, encouraging them to engage in activity of this sort. "Our goal is to reach 100,000 people in person, and another 400,000 by phone," Ariel said in a recent visit to Beit El. "We showed during the Likud referendum that we can do it."

Cities of Israel can be contacted at "mattot.arim@gmail.com".