The Christian Science Monitor

In Israeli election, a scramble for swing voters. Who are they?

The produce stalls in the Hatikvah open-air market are adorned with pictures of bearded rabbis, soccer jerseys, and occasionally banners for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party.

“Netanyahu: Right. Strong. Successful.”

Located in the hardscrabble working-class neighborhood of south Tel Aviv inhabited largely by Sephardic Jews whose families immigrated from across the Middle East, the Hatikvah market is regarded as an unwavering Likud bastion where party affiliation runs in the blood.

Despite the bribery charges Mr. Netanyahu faces from Israel’s attorney general, many declare there’s no substitute for his leadership. One reason is his carefully cultivated reputation as Mr. Security, the leader who knows best how to protect Israel in the hostile Middle East environment.

Stocking up on generalsWooing the ‘soft Likudnik’Last-minute challenges

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