Tuesday, December 1st 2020   |

Israel Elections

Netanyahu and Gantz sign agreement for ‘national emergency government’ that keeps Netanyahu as prime minister for now

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz signed a deal Monday to form a “national emergency government’ that keeps Netanyahu as the prime minister for now.

Israel has spent more than a year under a caretaker government as neither Netanyahu nor Gantz could assemble a coalition government. With the agreement, the country avoids a fourth national election in less than a year and...

Israel takes another step toward 4th election as Gantz loses coalition mandate

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli President Reuven Rivlin transferred the task of forming a government to parliament on Thursday, ending Benny Gantz’s attempt to form a unity coalition with his rival, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israeli lawmakers now have three more weeks to find a solution to the country’s yearlong political deadlock. If they don’t by May 7, Israel will head to a fourth election.

Gantz, head of the Blue and...

Benny Gantz takes Knesset speaker post as his prime minister hopes break down

By MARCY OSTER

JERUSALEM (JTA) — As his Blue and White party was on the verge of breaking up, its leader, Benny Gantz, was elected speaker of the Israeli Knesset on Thursday evening.

Gantz has been tasked with forming a coalition government following elections earlier this month, Israel’s third vote in less than a year.

The split in his party is over a debate about joining a unity government led...

Gantz and Netanyahu break off talks of a unity government that would include both of them

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Blue and White party led by Benny Gantz, who has been tasked with assembling a coalition government, said Thursday that it has broken off talks with Likud on a unity government without reaching an agreement.

“Contact with the Likud negotiating team has been terminated this evening,” Blue and White said in a statement. “There was no meeting today and, in contrast to reports indicating otherwise, we...

Netanyahu’s Likud gains strength, but right-wing bloc again falls short of majority to form government

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Most of the votes in Israel have been counted from Monday’s election, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party has the most seats in the parliament, gaining four from the balloting in September to regain the top spot.

But the right-wing bloc, while also picking up four seats from the earlier election, falls just shy of a majority needed to form a coalition government.

With 90 percent...

Gantz to supporters: ‘I share your pain and disappointment’

– Blue and White leader Benny Gantz told supporters in Tel Aviv on Monday night that he shared their “pain and disappointment” as exit polls indicated a convincing win for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party.

Initial exit polls showed Blue and White with between 32 to 34 seats and Likud with 37 seats in Knesset, totaling 52 to 54 for the center-left bloc and 60 for...

Israelis in quarantine due to coronavirus exposure vote at special polling locations

By MARCY OSTER

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Thousands of Israelis quarantined due to possible exposure to the coronavirus are voting in special polling places set up to allow them to safely cast their ballots.

Sixteen special polling places opened in outdoor tents across the country on Monday. As of 4:30 p.m., more than half of the some 5,600 quarantined voters had voted. Due to the large demand, the special voting places...

Israeli elections: Netanyahu and Gantz are neck and neck again, special polling places for voters under coronavirus quarantine

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The final Israeli television news polls offered no surprises as the country gets set to hold its unprecedented third election in a year on Monday: The Likud party and Blue and White are running neck and neck.

The two parties finished atop the voting in the two elections held last year, in April and September.

Likud, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is polling at 33-35 seats...

Facebook removes 30 fake accounts designed to keep Arab Israelis from voting

(JTA) — Facebook removed 30 fake accounts that were designed to keep Arab Israelis from voting in next week’s national elections.

The Arabic-language accounts were uncovered by the nonprofit organization Democratic Bloc and were confirmed removed on Tuesday, Haaretz reported. The pages encouraged the Arab community to boycott the March 2 election or encouraged social polarization.

Nearly half the fake accounts posted responses on the Facebook page of Ayman Odeh, head...

Ben & Jerry’s election flavor aims to give Israelis ‘a reason to vote’

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Ben & Jerry’s is giving voters in Israel a reason to cast their ballots in the country’s third election in less than a year, and it involves about as many flavors as there are political parties on the ballot.

“A reason to vote” is the tagline for the company’s limited-edition flavor created especially for the unprecedented election.

One Sweet Vote boasts vanilla ice cream filled with peace...