Ahead of possible elections, the rightwing, religious Yamina Party led by Naftali Bennett, Ayelet Shaked and Bezalel Smotrich are looking to expand their voter base by reaching out to Arab voters. Ayelet Shaked and party activists visited the Arab towns Kafr Kassem and Kafr Bara on Tuesday, according to a Makor Rishon report. Yamina is planning follow-up rallies in Nazareth, Taibeh and Sachnin.
How and why did this happen, you may ask?
Local Arab activists reached out to Ayelet Shaked, after being fed up with the Joint Arab List in the Knesset. They’re complaining that the Joint Arab List is not dealing with their community’s real issues, specifically education and violence in the Arab sector.
The activists said they believe in Ayelet Shaked. She was responsible for opening up the first courthouse in Taibeh when she was Justice Minister and she appointed Arab judges. The activists believe they can get Yamina two mandates, which will come at the expense of the Joint Arab List.
Back in the 80s, Arabs used to vote for the religious Mafdal party, due to shared interests of the two sectors.
Ayelet Shaked said that she isn’t surprised by this. Shaked said the Joint Arab List doesn’t understand that their voters aren’t interested in the Arab-Jewish conflict. They are interested in integrating better into Israeli society.
In the previous elections, Yamina tried reaching out to Ultra-Orthodox voters to expand their voter base, with mixed results.