As bomb shelters continue to be built throughout Sderot in preparation of future rocket attacks, Sderot residents showed up in large numbers at the voting booths last Tuesday, February 10.

Over half of Sderot residents voted for Likud and Yisrael Beitenu in the recent elections for Israel’s 18th Knesset. According to an Haaretz election poll, 33% of Sderot residents voted for Likud and 23% for Yisrael Beitanu.

Although Sderot’s mayor, David Bouskilla is a Kadima party member, the Kadima party received only 12% of Sderot votes.

13% of Sderot voted for the Shas party.

Eliran, a Sderot resident and Sapir college graduate voted for Likud, because he believes that Benyamin Netanyahu is the best person to lead the nation at this time. “It was clear to me from the beginning that I would vote for Bibi…he is the only one who understands the reality facing us.”

Hamutal, however, who moved to Sderot last year voted for Kadima because she believes that the real change lies with Tzipi Livni. “I decided to vote for Tzipi because both Barak and Bibi had their chance and they failed. Hamutal’s boyfriend, Yehuda, agrees. “This was the first time I voted, and Tzipi got my vote because she is the only one who is not corrupt.”

Yosef, a 70-year old Romanian who has been living in Sderot for the past 30 years told SMC that he did not vote. “All the candidates are the same,” he said. “No one looks out for me except for G-d.”

The owner of a popular Sderot shwarma and falafel stand, Chaim, explained that he also voted for Likud because “Bibi will get the job done, and finish off what was started with Hamas.”

Monir, a Nazareth Arab who constructs bomb shelters in Sderot, said he voted for Shas. When asked why, Monir replied that “Shas looks out for the workers and the average people.”

Ashkelon voted similarly to Sderot, with 31% of Ashkelon residents voting Likud and 27% voting Yisrael Beitenu. Kadima received 16% of Ashkelon’s votes.

Kadima did slightly better in Beesheba, receiving 20% of Beersheba’s votes. However, Likud and and Yisrael Beitenu still lead the way in Beersheba, with Likud receiving an overwhelming 28% and Yisrael Beitenu receiving 25%.

Kadima, not surprisingly received the majority of its votes in central Israel, doing well in Tel Aviv, with 34% of Tel Aviv voting for the party, followed by 19% for Likud and 15% for Labor. Ra’anana voted 37% for Kadima and 23% for Likud.

On a national average, Kadima came in first with 23% of the Israeli vote followed by Likud who came in a close second, with 21% of the vote, and Yisrael Beitenu who won 12% of the vote. Labor finished fourth winning only 10% of the national vote.



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