Last-gasp Labor Efforts Target Vacillators, Minorities

On the last day of the election campaign, the Labor Party intends to target voters who are deliberating between it and Kadima, and non-Jewish Israelis who might be inclined not to vote.

To strengthen the party's presence on the ground, activists yesterday stood at about 40 highway intersections around the country with election banners. So as not to mar the landscape, they attached the banners to their backs instead of hanging them up.

Hundreds of thousands of people who voted Labor in the past, or have told pollsters they are considering supporting the party, will today receive a recorded telephone message urging them to vote from chairman Ehud Barak. Barak is due to visit Kibbutz Mishmar Hasharon, where he grew up and where he will participate in a ceremony for Tu Bishvat, the new year of the trees.

Yesterday Barak again refused to comment on whether he would join a government coalition which includes Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman. In an interview with Channel 2, he said only that he did not agree with Lieberman's slogan "without loyalty there is no citizenship," pertaining to Israel's Arabs.

In the hours remaining before the polls open, Labor candidates will intensify attacks on Kadima and its leader, Tzipi Livni. They will also ask those who've supported Labor in the past not to vote for the small parties, so as not to "waste" their votes.

National Infrastructure Minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer continues to campaign in Arab communities on behalf of Labor. According to several polls, there is considerable apathy among non-Jewish populations, and Labor is therefore seeking to garner support from Muslim, Christian and Druze communities, who voted for it in the past in large numbers.