Sharansky Launches Hebrew Campaign

Yisrael b'Aliyah launched its first-ever Hebrew-language election campaign yesterday, aimed at veteran immigrants and native Israelis. The slogan accompanying the new campaign, which hopes to position the party as an alternative for disillusioned Likud voters, is "Sharansky: Right. Sane. Clean."

The new campaign represents a significant shift in policy from the line taken by Yisrael b'Aliyah to date. Since the current elections campaign began, Yisrael b'Aliyah has openly presented itself as a sectorial party appealing solely to immigrants. The party is also trying to promote itself as the only remaining immigrant party, after Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu joined the right-wing National Union bloc, and Roman Bronfman joined forces with Meretz. As a result, the party's decided its election campaign would be conducted exclusively in Russian - until yesterday.

In recent weeks, Yisrael b'Aliyah has identified potential voters among those abandoning the Likud, and the party's new campaign is aimed at them, for the first time, in Hebrew. In previous campaigns, the party has always defined itself as a centrist party. This time around, however, Sharansky has got off the fence, and now defines himself as rightist. This is meant to differentiate Yisrael b'Aliyah from Shinui, and to ensure Likud voters that their vote will remain in the nationalist camp. The head of the party's public relations committee, MK Yuli Edelstein, said that, "In appealing to the veteran community in Israel, the party sees a national mission intended to prevent the sane, rightist voting public from falling in to the trap of a ultra-leftist party such as Shinui, which is posing as a centrist-national party."