Likud attempts to intimidate Palestinian voters with hidden ballot cams

Poll workers from the Likud party are using hidden cameras to record Palestinian voters as they head to the polls on Election Day. The goal? To intimidate Arab citizens and make sure they stay home. 

A Palestinian citizen of Israel casts her vote in the 2019 election, Taybeh, central Israel, April 9, 2019. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)
A Palestinian citizen of Israel casts her vote in the 2019 election, Taybeh, central Israel, April 9, 2019. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Members of the ruling Likud party placed at least 1,200 hidden cameras on poll workers across Palestinian towns and villages in Israel on Election Day Tuesday. Likud members said the goal was to prevent electoral fraud.

Israeli police immediately detained a number of poll workers, taking them in for interrogation, while the Central Elections Committee released a statement clarifying that poll workers cannot photograph or record voters, as doing so infringes upon their privacy.

But there is something far more sinister at play. Israel’s ruling party wants to make sure that as many Palestinian citizens across Israel hear about hidden cameras at polling booths, prompting them to stay home. The leaders of the various Arab parties responded to the stunt by calling on Palestinian citizens to go out and vote.

For a population already facing persecution by the government, whose activists and artists know they can be arrested for publishing their opinions on the internet, who know what it’s like to lose their job for speaking out, whose political leadership is viewed as illegitimate by most Knesset parties — the message is clear. Big Brother is always watching.

A hidden camera used by Likud poll workers in voting booths across the country during the 2019 elections. (Photo courtesy of the Hadash-Ta’al spokesperson)
A hidden camera used by Likud poll workers in voting booths across the country during the 2019 elections. (Photo courtesy of the Hadash-Ta’al spokesperson)

Likud’s Election Day tampering is by no means an aberration. The party supported the raising of the election threshold, which was put in place to try and keep the Arab parties out of the Knesset. It is the same party responsible for the race-mongering of the 2015 election. The same party that tried to prevent an Israeli NGO from busing Bedouin citizens to the polling booths. The party whose election campaign was based on portraying the Palestinian candidates as supporters of terrorism who want to wipe out Israel.

There is a reason Likud ceaselessly focuses on the Palestinian public: it knows that without a Jewish-Arab alliance, there will be no way to replace the right.