LIKUD LOST ETHIOPIAN, NEGEV VOTES AFTER SHOOTING, ROCKETS

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antz won Tel Aviv and Litzman won Jerusalem.

BY LAHAV HARKOV
 SEPTEMBER 19, 2019

wo notable groups shifted votes from the Likud: residents of cities in the Gaza border communities, and the Ethiopian-Israeli community, following major events among both groups in the months leading up to this week’s election.

While the Likud continued to be the leading party in both communities after most of the votes were counted on Wednesday afternoon, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party appeared to lose some support.

Palestinians in Gaza shot rockets at Israeli civilians several times in the weeks before the election, and fewer residents of cities within the rockets’ range voted for the Likud than they did in April.

In Sderot, the Likud, running with Kulanu candidates, received 42.2% of the vote, as opposed to 47.7% for the Likud and Kulanu in April. Most of those votes seemed to go to Shas, which rose nearly 3 percentage points to 10.4%. In Ashkelon, 48% voted Likud in April, but the number dropped to 40.5% this week. Much of the votes appeared to go to Yisrael Beytenu, which went from 13.1% to 18.3%. In Ofakim, the drop was from 39% to 34.5%; and in Netivot – where Shas is the largest party at 39.32% – the Likud fell from 35.3% to 30%.

Kibbutzim in the area continued to support the other side of the political map, with Blue and White receiving 38.12%, followed by Labor-Gesher with 32.25% in Be’eri, and Nahal Oz with 48.5% for Blue and White and 29.61% for Labor-Gesher.

The Ethiopian-Israeli community traditionally supports the Likud in large numbers, in part because it is relatively conservative, and because Likud prime ministers launched the operations to bring Ethiopian Jewry to Israel.

However, in the five months between the April election and this week, major protests broke out among Ethiopian-Israelis after Solomon Tekah, a young man from the community, was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer who felt threatened by him.

In addition, the Likud does not have any Ethiopian-Israeli candidates, while Blue and White has two – Pnina Tamnu-Shata and Gadi Yevarkan – in realistic spots.

In Kiryat Moshe in Rehovot, a neighborhood with one of the highest concentrations of Israelis of Ethiopian descent, the Likud received 53% of the vote in April and only 42% in September, while Blue and White rose from 13% to more than twice as many, 28%.

In the Weizman neighborhood in Kiryat Malachi, 50% voted Likud in the last election, and 39% this week. Blue and White jumped from 6.5% to 18%. Neighborhoods in Rishon Lezion and Kiryat Gat showed similar drops in support for the Likud and increases for Blue and White.

In Tel Aviv, Blue and White won a resounding victory, with 42.76% of the vote in the White City. The Likud came in second with 19.09%, and Meretz came in third with 14.42%, exactly twice as many votes as Labor-Gesher received.

In Jerusalem, UTJ received 24.9% of the vote followed by the Likud with 22.99% and Shas with 15.97%. Yisrael Beytenu and the Joint List did not pass the 3.25% electoral threshold in the capital, but far-right Otzma Yehudit did, with 3.37% of the vote.

Blue and White took the lead in Haifa, with 32.68% of the vote, followed by 23.54% for the Likud and 11.94% for Yisrael Beytenu. Joint List leader Ayman Odeh’s party came in fourth place in his hometown, with 9.22% of the vote.

In Nazareth, the Joint List received 91.81% of the vote, and the next party was Blue and White at 2.76%.

In Ma’aleh Adumim, the most populous Israeli town in the West Bank, the Likud received 49.01% of the vote, followed by Yamina with 14.42% and Blue and White with 11.64%.

Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman’s hometown of Nokdim, in the Gush Etzion region of the West Bank, voted overwhelmingly for Yamina, with 45.44% of the vote, followed by the Likud with 27.34% and Yisrael Beytenu only in third with 10.40%.

Yamina won the vote in Hebron, with 45.65%, and Otzma Yehudit, some of whose leadership lives in the Jewish enclave in the city, came in second with 37.39%.

Of the two parties that campaigned on deporting migrants from south Tel Aviv, Yamina received 2.63% of the vote in Tel Aviv and Otzma 0.81%. Otzma received a higher share of the vote in some of the polls in areas with large migrant populations. For example, a ballot in the Hatikvah neighborhood showed them with 4.14% of the vote.

Otzma did not pass the 3.25% electoral threshold to obtain seats in the Knesset.

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