Tens of thousands of people crowded into Tel Aviv's Rabin Square last night to take part in an election rally for the right under the slogan "United for the Land of Israel", Walla News reports.. The first speaker at the rally was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who set out to refute the claims that his government had failed in running the economy.
"I know that there is false propaganda against us. All's fair in smearing us, including the mendacious claim that the governments I have headed have done nothing," Netanyahu said. "An economic upset has taken place that sacrificed whole economies in Europe, but we saved the Israeli economy, and even made it grow. But this makes no difference to the left and its partners in the media, and there are plenty of those. As far as they are concerned, if you haven't withdrawn from settlements, you haven't done anything."
"Why do they do this?" Netanyahu asked, "Because as long as the Likud is in power, we will not divide Jerusalem and there will be no concessions and withdrawals. So our rivals invest a mighty effort to get at me and the Likud, to open up a gap. Unless we close this gap, there is a real danger that a left-wing government will come into power."
Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett spoke after Netanyahu. "You don't have to divide the Land of Israel in order to bring down cheese prices. There is a socially aware right, you don't have to choose between the right and social policy," Bennett said.
In response to the rally, the Zionist Union, led by Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni, said in a statement, "If we needed any further demonstration of the scare tactics that Bibi, Marzel and Bennett are using in their support of the extremists, we received it at the rally. Bibi is a prime minister of the extreme right, and only the Zionist Union can halt their takeover of the country and the government. It's clear to everyone, every vote that does not go to the Zionist Union puts Bibi, Marzel and Bennett into the government."