Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s senior aide Natan Eshel said that “hate is what unites” the right-wing camp led by the Likud party and that negative campaigning works well on “non-Ashkenazi voters” in a leaked recording revealed by Channel 12 on Saturday.
Eshel, a former Netanyahu chief of staff who resigned amid allegations of sexual misconduct, continues to work with the premier, leading the previous two coalition negotiations over the past year.
In the newly revealed recording, he can be heard discussing the party’s campaign strategy with an unnamed person whom he is trying to recruit as a political adviser, according to the report. In the tape, Eshel says that Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit’s decision to indict Netanyahu in three corruption cases actually helped the premier in his campaign. “He went up by 20 percent” Eshel recalls, though it was unclear what numbers he was referring to.
“If you haven’t stolen, what exactly have you come [into politics] for? We’ve checked this. And to my shock, they [the public] do not understand [this notion] of going into politics to do what’s good for the nation. You go into politics in order to steal and you need to be a man,” Eshel claims, not yet specifying which public he was referring to.
“Now, in this public, I’ll call it… non-Ashkenazi…What gets them worked up? Why do they hate the press?… They hate everything and we’ve succeeded in whipping up that hatred. Hatred is what unites our camp,” Eshel says plainly.
Eshel appeared to be referring to the Likud base of voters from Mizrahi communities, often in the periphery, who have long supported the party.