I Dramatic Decisive Victory
By David Daoud
MARCH 17, 2015 9:01 PM
20th Knesset. With almost all the ballots counted for Israel’s general election held today, the ruling Likud party of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has scored a dramatic and decisive victory over the rival Zionist Union party
99% of votes have been counted from a total of 4,223,057 and Likud is in first place with 23.29 percent. Zionist Union is trailing far behind in second place with 18.76 percent, almost 5 percentage points behind Likud. (Media and Polls caught lying through their wishful thinking teeth once again)
The results give Netanyahu 29 seats in Israel’s Knesset, a full 5 more than the Zionist Union with 24. The tally significantly exceeds exit poll results which showed the two parties in a dead heat.
The United Arab List is in third place at 10.95 percent or 14 seats, followed by the centrist Yesh Atid with 8.78 percent or 11 seats and Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu with 7.42 percent or 10 seats. Bayit Yehudi now holds 6.40 percent or 8 seats, Shas has 5.82 percent or 7 seats, Yisrael Beiteinu has 5.17 percent or 6 seats, and United Torah Judaism has 5.18 percent.
Meretz (The Left wing party) looks like it has barely passed the threshold at 3.90 percent or 4 seats, but Eli Yishai’s Yachad only has 2.98 percent and does not pass the electoral threshold.
71.8% of those eligible to vote made their way to the election booths on Tuesday from all around Israel, and some Israelis even traveled from abroad to cast their vote. This is the highest voter turnout since the 1999 elections, and is 4% more than the elections in 2013.
II Netanyahu: the Comeback Kid
By Michael Freund
March 17, 2015
Going in to today’s balloting, Benjamin Netanyahu was Israel’s Prime Minister and, if the exit polls on Israel’s main television stations prove accurate, he will not be looking for a new job any time soon.
After months of trailing the Zionist Union party at the polls, Netanyahu’s Likud pulled off a stunning come-from-behind victory.
Despite the disgraceful way in which Israel’s left-wing media went after the premier and his family in a thinly-veiled attempt to topple him, Netanyahu emerged on top, with the Likud tying or edging out the Zionist Union in all three television exit polls.
Quite simply, Netanyahu is the comeback kid of Israeli politics, the man who has managed to defy the critics, the media, various American Jewish millionaires and the administration in Washington, all of whom sought to bring him down.
Like Bill Clinton in the 1992 Democratic primaries, Netanyahu overcame scandalous allegations in the press, and surged to victory.
In the coming weeks, he will patch together a coalition and form the next government.
It will presumably include Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home, the Haredim, Avigdor Lieberman’s Israel Beitenu and Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu, with the Likud serving as the leading party.
This will give Netanyahu a coalition whose seats will number in the low 60s. Though far from ideal, it will nonetheless enjoy an internal cohesion and ideological consistency that was largely missing from the outgoing government.
In today’s voting, the right-wing and religious parties have once again prevailed, underlining the fact that a majority of Israelis continue to cherish the Land of Israel and will not countenance turning over territory to our enemies.
The results are a ringing defeat for the left and their policies of appeasement.
At a time of grave peril, with the threat from Iran mounting daily, the people of Israel knew exactly whom to trust, giving Netanyahu the push he needed to make it past the finish line.
Despite the vitriol hurled at him daily for the past few months, our premier refused to back down, and would not give in. And now he will have an unprecedented opportunity not only to write yet another chapter in his storied political career, but to lead the nation with a solid right-wing team around him. The comeback kid is here to stay.
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