Netanyahu Dominates In Third Electoral Showdown, Reports Say

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears to have dominated former army chief Benny Gantz on Tuesday in the third election to determine the future of Israel’s government.
All the major Israeli television networks reported that Netanyahu had secured 60 seats in the Knesset, one seat short of securing a majority.
“The numbers are expected to change overnight,” The Jerusalem Post reported. “The votes of IDF soldiers, who tend to lean to the Right, have not yet been counted and the Joint List tends to go down a seat when the soldiers’ votes are added.”
“The outright victory in the third election in under a year is expected to enable Netanyahu to quickly form a right-wing coalition after having headed a caretaker government since December 2018,” The Post added. “Netanyahu spoke to the heads of the parties in his camp immediately after the exit polls were announced and agreed to form a strong nationalist government as soon as possible.”
Netanyahu’s win over center-left Blue and White candidate Gantz came after an audio recording aired over the weekend that showed Gantz’s own staff trashing him.
The Washington Post reported:
On Thursday night, an Israeli television stationed aired a recording of Israel Bachar, Gantz’s chief campaign strategist, talking candidly to Tel Aviv rabbi Guy Habura. Bachar, who seemed to be speaking his own mind and quoting others, derided Gantz as a danger to Israel and said he did not believe Gantz would have the courage to attack Iran, according to Israeli media reports.
“She says he’s stupid, a total loser, and must not become prime minister,” Bachar was heard saying, quoting Omer Yankelevitz, a lawmaker from Gantz’s Blue and White party.
Israel National News quoted Defense Minister and Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett, who spoke at a Yamina party event on Monday evening:
The right-wing camp won! And we will make sure that the way of the right-wing will win as well. With God’s help, today an Israeli government of sovereignty was established. Prime Minister Netanyahu called me minutes after the exit polls and we congratulated each other. I’m glad we brought victory to the right without attacking each other.”
Bennett added:
Ayelet Shaked, the best Justice Minister, will make sure she also comes back [to that role] … We will act as a joint faction in the upcoming Knesset and, as promised, we will do everything possible to turn into one large party. Tomorrow we will convene a joint faction meeting of all of us and start working for the people of Israel, the Land of Israel, the Torah of Israel and IDF soldiers. As we promised, we will recommend to the President that Prime Minister Netanyahu establish the government.
Reports later indicated that Netanyahu’s coalition might wind up with 59 seats, one short of what was initially posted. If that remains the same, it  would necessitate him looking to bring Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party into the coalition. Lieberman is avowedly hostile to Israel’s religious parties, which align with Netanyahu, but also a hawk regarding Israel’s defense.
Netanyahu Dominates In Third Electoral Showdown, Reports Say Netanyahu Dominates In Third Electoral Showdown, Reports Say Reviewed by CUZZ BLUE on March 03, 2020 Rating: 5

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