The campaign was initiated by social protest activists Regev Contes, Shir Nosatzki and Roee Neuman, who have managed to recruit dozens of artists, television presenters and journalists to urge Israeli citizens to go to the voting stations on Election Day.
Former news anchor Miki Haimovich (Photo: Dana Kopel)
The campaign's stars include the cast of satirical television show "Eretz Nehederet"; singers Rita, Ninet Tayeb, Omer Adam, Shlomi Shaban, Efrat Gosh, Shiri Maimon, Ivri Lider and Ze'ev Nehama; actors Gila Almagor, Keren Mor, Menashe Noy, Ze'ev Revach, Yuval Scarf and Amos Tamam; television presenters and journalists Haim Yavin, Orly Vilnai, Guy Meroz, Miki Haimovich, Guy Pines, Erel Segal, Guri Alfi and Assi Azar; model Rotem Sela and chef Eyal Shani.
The campaign's website and Facebook page will include videos and activities involving the artists. The campaign is expected to reach its peak on Election Day with a series of outdoor initiatives.
Organizers are working to raise funds for the campaign through the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The campaign was inspired by similar campaigns from around the world – the latest and most effective one recorded in the 2008 US elections, when the Rock the Vote organization recruited artists like Madonna, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christina Aguilera and Samuel L. Jackson.
Entertainment show host Guy Pines (Photo: Shaul Golan)
Former Channel 1 news anchor Haim Yavin has no hesitations when asked to participate in the campaign. "We are calling on people to vote for whoever they want, just vote," he said, stressing that "the growing indifference was what pushed me to participate."
"I didn't think twice," said singer Shiri Maimon. "We must not sit idle. If we remain indifferent we'll find ourselves in another summer of protests."
Entertainment show host Guy Pines said he wanted to to explain to Israelis why it was so important to vote. "From year to year, people here lose hope that their vote can make a difference," he said. "There is a feeling that 'everything anyways works out somehow' between good and bad, mostly bad, and why bother? Such thinking eats away at democracy."
Journalist Orly Vilani (Photo: Shaul Golan)
The three campaign initiators are convinced that they will manage to increase the voter turnout rate in the January 22 elections.
"In the coming days we'll open a website and invite the public to help us with this great task," said Nosatzki. "Those who don't vote are simply downgrading themselves from citizens to residents."
"Our goal is to increase the voter turnout rate to 86%, as it was in the first elections," said Neuman. "We want to bring back the feeling that the public is in charge. After the elections we'll create a lobby in the Knesset in order to pass a law that will make voting mandatory, as it is in Australia."
Contes stressed the need for citizens' involvement as well. "There will be nothing more destructive for the State and society like losing hope. This is what really tears us apart."
Raz shechnik is a Yedioth Ahronoth and Ynet correspondent