It was a big night for Likud and Netanyahu. The votes coming in are giving Likud an even bigger lead than the exit polls indicated.



Israeli English-language news is on the ground at Likud HQ, where the champagne has already started flowing:

likud HQ

Conservative outlets are already embracing a Netanyahu victory:


This Facebook video caused quite an uproar:

Meanwhile, both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas made pleas for Israeli Arabs to vote for the Joint Arab List:


…but CNN is stirring the “racist appeal” pot, and launching criticism at Netanyahu’s campaign tactics:

Earlier in the night

The polls in Israel have just closed (10 p.m. Local; 4 p.m. Eastern)

Bibi or Bougie?

We have a live news feed in English from from i24 News and a live Twitter feed, below the fold.

We also will update as meaningful results are known.

But the key here is to understand that the vote count is only the beginning of the process.

Then we need to find out how many seats in the Knesset each party has won, and who will be asked by the President of Israel to form a majority coalition.

That process could take weeks.

If the exit polls are accurate, things could be interesting. Bibi did better than expected, as Likud was expected to be down 3-4 seats.

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