Let the Games Begin

Talks of Joining Netanyahu-Led Coalition Begin Even as Center-Left Tries To Coordinate Positions

By Haaretz/Yossi Verter

Published January 11, 2013.

The antiquated election-campaign commercials, from which it’s impossible to escape, started airing this week. They ran the gamut from boring, to pretentious and stereotypical - to outright racist. The latter ad came from the new Shas, which Aryeh Deri promised would serve as a bridge between all parts of the nation under his leadership. The clip that offered a stereotyped, if not repulsive, depiction of a Russian bride stirred a furor and was removed. But Shas got what it wanted: People talked about it. Yisrael Beiteinu might also be able to glean a few voters whose honor was impugned by the same ad.

The most effective spots were those of Kadima and Habayit Hayehudi. The former portrayed Shaul Mofaz as a tragic figure. Voters were called on to save him from extinction, as though he were a rare species of panda. The other ad, by means of winks and nods, was aimed at the young generation which, as in previous elections, has no party that represents it, without actually saying anything about what, who and why.

Most of the recent polls have showed that the decline of Likud- Yisrael Beiteinu has halted, the enfeeblement of Labor has ended and the rise of Habayit Hayehudi has peaked. The inter-bloc balance remains intact, with a clear majority of support - equivalent to 66-68 seats - for Likud-right-ultra-Orthodox, with the remaining 52-54 seats going to center-left-Arabs.

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