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Netanyahu Likely Won Unprecedented Fifth Term as Israeli PM (UPDATED: Gantz Concedes)

Netanyahu Likely Won Unprecedented Fifth Term as Israeli PM (UPDATED: Gantz Concedes)

Despite both Netanyahu and challenger Gantz claiming victory, it appears that the Prime Minister will form the next Israeli government.

Benjamin Netanyahu appears to have once again won a narrow victory to remain Israel’s prime minister.

According to Israel’s i24 News, with 97% of the vote counted, Netanyahu’s Likud party had garnered 26.28%, which would translate into 35 seats in the next Knesset. The rival Blue and White list, headed by former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid party, came in with 25.97% of the vote, which would also give them 35 seats.

The next two biggest factions would be religious parties — Shas and United Torah Judaism — with eight seats each. The Union of Right Wing Parties appears to have won five seats and Kulanu, the party headed by former Likudnik Moshe Kahlon won four. Given that all of these parties have pledged to support Netanyahu as prime minister during next week’s consultations with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

Yisrael Beiteinu, headed by Avigdor Liberman, with five seats, would appear to be a coalition partner for Netanyahu, but Liberman, who resigned last year as defense minister, has not yet pledged to support for Netanyahu.

The New York Times reported:

“I’m very emotional this night,” an ebullient Mr. Netanyahu told a cheering crowd of supporters in Tel Aviv, after kissing his wife, Sara Netanyahu. “It is a night of great victory.”

The Times characterized the vote as “a referendum on Mr. Netanyahu and his decades in public life, including 13 years as prime minister over four terms.”

Rival Benny Gantz also claimed victory and has, so far, refused to concede.

Even winning the election, Netanyahu faces possible indictment on charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust. In late February, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced his intention to indict Netanyahu.

Sometime in the next month or two, Netanyahu and his lawyers are slated to meet with Mandelblit and try to persuade the attorney general not to proceed with the indictment. The process of deciding whether or not to indict Netanyahu could carry into 2020.

If Mandelblit indicts Netanyahu, he “faces the possibility of becoming the country’s first sitting premier to be criminally charged, the Times noted. However, that would not disqualify him from governing.

In the meantime, Netanyahu will start the process of forming his unprecedented fifth government.

UPDATE: Gantz concedes

[Photo: Fox News / YouTube ]


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Good news. Congratulations Mr. Prime Minister. Mazel tov!

Good news. He certainly had his enemies aligned against him too. The allegations set against him probably had some affect against him, otherwise I think this would have been a more certain outcome.

No one is perfect, but he sure seems like the leader they need there. I have always admired him.

I am pro Bibi – He is definitely pro Israel, instead of an “internationalist” aka as pro-palestinian .

My only complaint is a preference for one individual to not hold the top spot in government for too long a period. (leads to corruption, too much power etc.

The good point is that Israel has a strong democracy, which is the only democracy in the middle east – ( a fact that few progressives can grasp)

    David Gerstman in reply to Joe-dallas. | April 10, 2019 at 4:29 pm

    Joe, I agree. Holding power too long, even for the best person is dangerous. I just hope that Netanyahu is foresighted enough at this point to groom a successor.

So, the Israelis get to keep their Churchill. I suppose the difference between them and the Brits is that the Israelis should by now have no illusions about the intentions of their enemies.

But, but, Beta O’Rourke told me that Netanyahu doesn’t represent the true thoughts of the Israeli peeps.

And I always look for truths from the pols who don’t represent the true thoughts of Texans.

And Haaretz has evidently declared that Israel’s gov’t is now a dictatorship because of Netanyahu’s win.

As of now, none of the MSM web sites (and even news broadcasts) are reporting Netanyhu’s victory.

At Cornell: The Student Assembly will be voting on a resolution on Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel in the Willard Straight Hall Memorial Room on Thursday, April 11 at 4:15pm.

Being Prime Minister of Israel is not like being elected President of the United States. In the US, the President is secure in his elected office and can only be removed from office if impeached by the House of Representatives and convicted of committing certain high crime and misdemeanors by the Senate. The Prime Minister, under Israel’s parliamentary system, is required to secure the support of the majority of the members of the Knesset in order to become, and remain, Prime Minister. The system allows for the removal of the Prime Minister for “no confidence”. And, as Netanyahu’s Likud Party, is tied, for seats, with The Blue and White list, which supports Gantz, Netanyahu’s elevation to PM depends entirely upon the support of about 40% of the Knesset which do not belong to either of these two groups. While early reports of support from the majority of the 40% make it likely that Netanyahu will be named PM, it is not certain nor is it certain that he would remain in that position should he be indicted.

As to Netanyahu continuing as PM being good or bad, only time will tell.

    Milhouse in reply to Mac45. | April 10, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    True but irrelevant. Likud members might not vote for him down the road either. But for now he’s got a solid 60 votes pledged to him, and another 5 that have no other realistic place to go, so he’s in. When the army votes are counted Bennett may very well scrape in with 4 more votes pledged to Netanyahu.

    One minor point: As part of Netanyahu’s deal with the Bayit Yehudi and Ihud Leumi parties, Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan of Ihud Leumi was given the 27th spot on the Likud list; he will now be returning to his party, so the Likud will have 34 rather than 35 seats (on the current numbers). It makes no difference to the overall calculus, since he and the rest of his party will still support Netanyahu for PM. But it does mean (again, on the current numbers) that the Motherhood-and-Apple-Pie list will have one more seat than the Likud (at least until it breaks up into its component pieces, as I expect it to within a year).

      Tom Servo in reply to Milhouse. | April 10, 2019 at 1:30 pm

      Naftali Bennett has been quite a big name for a long time. Yesterday may turn out to have been the final day of his long political career.

      I find it kind of interesting that when analysts write about the possible coalitions, they always neglect to mention that the 10 votes that the Arab parties got are 10 votes that will never be part of *any* coalition, ever. Because they refuse to do it.

        Milhouse in reply to Tom Servo. | April 10, 2019 at 2:53 pm

        Not quite true. If Gantz tried to put together a coalition he’d have to include the Arab parties; even if they were not officially inside the government they’d be committed supporters from outside, and they would expect to be paid dearly for that support. In fact they’d expect to be paid even more to compensate them for the insult of not officially including them.


Bibi has won and he WILL elicit the support of the 40%

Time has been told

So it is written

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | April 10, 2019 at 3:37 pm

Ace of Spades has some very good comments on this – a brief bit.

“…..I’m no expert at all in that nation’s arcane political system but I understand his win has created quite a bit of turmoil with the parties, coalitions and all that goes with them so look for the analyses in the coming days ahead. Also, there are some commenters here at the HQ who are not fans of Bibi’s leadership, particularly when it comes to how he has dealt with the Palestinian menace. I won’t comment on that, but considering how shabbily he and his nation were treated by the previous administration – including actively meddling in a previous election to try to oust Bibi – if the collective head of the Democrat-Left-Media complex is exploding with rage this morning, all I can say is mazel tov, Bibi!”

Some good news: the soldiers’ votes put the New Right over the top, so Ayelet Shaked will be in the next Knesset, and hopefully will keep her current portfolio as Attorney General. (No, Mandelblit is not the AG, no matter how many people mistranslate his position that way. Call him Solicitor General, if you must, but there is nothing in his job description that matches the definition of an AG.)

Bennett will want some job or other too. I don’t care. I’m only sorry Caroline Glick won’t be joining them.

The New Right’s four seats come at the expense of Idan Roll and Yorai Lahav Herzanu of the Motherhood-and-Apple-Pie list, Idit Silman of Bayit Yehudi, and Yitzchak Pindrus of Degel Hatorah. Silman and Pindrus will probably get in under the Norwegian law when their parties’ respective heads get ministries or deputy ministries, but Roll and Herzanu are out.

LGBT publications had been trumpeting the rise in the number of out gay MKs from two to five. Roll and Herzanu were two of those five, so now it’s down to three.

Aaaaand… Serious shenanigans. Observers excluded from the count while the numbers change dramatically. Sounds like what the Dems tried in Florida in 2000, which was only prevented by a riot. This reeks, and Rafi Peretz announcing that he’s cool with it reeks even stronger.