Did the Arabs actually go out to vote in droves on election day?

August 2, 2016  

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been attacked since the day of the most recent election, on which he told media that “Arabs are going out to the voting booth in droves.” One of the most frequent attacks has been the claim that Netanyahu was simply lying in order to get people out to vote for him out of fear.

However, comments made today by the Mayor of Nazareth, Ali Salem, in an interview with Kol Yisrael in Arabic, raise the possibility that the Prime Minister was actually speaking accurately.

Salem said in the interview that at 3:00 pm on the day of the election, when the voter turnout in Nazareth stood at 20%, he got a call from PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas asking him to act to get out his city’s residents to vote for the Joint Arab List.

According to Salem, he indeed acquiesced, and got the voter turnout up to 90% by 7:00 pm.

In a message on the Likud Facebook page, the party reacted to the publication of the recording of Salem’s interview on Channel 1 news tonight.

“Tonight Channel 1 reported that Ali Salem, Mayor of Nazareth, had said that Mahmoud Abbas urged him to make people go out and vote for the Joint List on the day of the elections.

“Spoiler alert: To those who are expecting elements on the left and the media to embark on a campaign condemning Abbas’ blatant interference with the Israeli elections: Don’t hold your breath.”

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