Sunday, January 29th 2023   |

Israel Elections

Decisive victory: Netanyahu’s bloc secures 64 mandates

– With more than 4.7 million votes officially counted, or 99.87% of the total ballots cast in Israel’s election on Tuesday, opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-religious bloc has emerged victorious.

According to the results the Central Elections Committee (CEC) announced on Thursday evening, Netanyahu’s bloc will pick up 64 seats. The far-left Meretz and anti-Zionist Arab Balad parties have been eliminated and will not enter the Knesset.

A...

Lapid concedes to Netanyahu, prepares to hand over reins of government

By RON KAMPEAS

(JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid called his rival, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to concede this week’s election as most of the votes were counted by the end of Thursday.

“The State of Israel is above any political consideration. I wish Netanyahu luck for the sake of the people of Israel and the State of Israel,” Lapid wrote in a statement.

Netanyahu, meantime, has launched...

Netanyahu seeks to form government in two weeks

– Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu will attempt to form a governing coalition in just two weeks, by Nov. 15, the date of the swearing-in of the new Knesset, Israeli media reported on Wednesday.

Netanyahu’s move reflects his confidence that he will easily form a government, as he would normally be given 28 days to build a coalition with the possibility of a 14-day extension. He will assign...

Israel exit polls predict narrow win for Netanyahu with help of surging right-wing bloc

By GABE FRIEDMAN

(JTA) — According to exit polls, Benjamin Netanyahu looks to have eked out a victory in Israel’s election on Tuesday, with a projected bloc of 61-62 seats, at or just above the 61 needed to form a majority in a 120-seat parliament.

Those polls, taken at voting stations by local broadcasters and released at 10 p.m. Israel time, have been known to be skewed compared to the...

Israel’s upcoming election and its high stakes for democracy, explained

By GABE FRIEDMAN

(JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid was all smiles on Thursday, as he signed a long-delayed maritime deal with Lebanon, an adversary in the region. “It is not every day that an enemy state recognizes the State of Israel,” he boasted at a cabinet meeting.

But his good mood likely won’t last long. 

Despite helping oust Israel’s polarizing and longtime face on the world stage, Benjamin...

They united to oppose an extremist party entering Israel’s government in 2019. This time, leading US Jewish groups are staying quiet.

By RON KAMPEAS

WASHINGTON (JTA) — In 2019, when then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in talks with an extremist party to coordinate election tactics, the message from the U.S. Jewish community was clear: Don’t.

That’s no longer the case now that the former prime minister is once again working with Otzma Yehudit and its leader, Itamar Ben-Gvir, to work out an agreement that would get him back into the prime...

Israel headed to 5th elections since 2019 after leaders concede collapse of governing coalition

By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ

(JTA) — After weeks of fending off threats to their governing coalition, Israel’s top leaders have announced that they will instead seek to dissolve the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, and hold new elections.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid announced their decision Monday, setting Israel on a path toward a fifth round of elections since 2019 and potentially allowing Benjamin Netanyahu, Bennett’s predecessor, to regain...

Netanyahu’s political party says his claims of ‘election fraud’ are different from Trump’s

By BEN SALES

(JTA) — When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims that his rivals are perpetrating the “greatest electoral fraud in the history of the country,” he’s not actually talking about voter fraud or negating a peaceful transfer of power, his Likud party said.

In a series of tweets in English Thursday, Likud sought to dispel the idea that Netanyahu was casting doubt on the actual results of the...

Is Israel heading for its own Jan. 6? In Jerusalem, officials fear political violence during the transition.

By BEN SALES

(JTA) — As Benjamin Netanyahu makes a last-ditch attempt to stay in power, even with a rival coalition set to take office, U.S. journalists and scholars are offering a dire comparison: Jan. 6. 

In Israel, the political turmoil now seems eerily similar to what was happening in America prior to the insurrection at the Capitol that day.

Like Donald Trump, Netanyahu is trying to foil a democratic...

What does a Bennett-Lapid government mean?

By DAVID ISSAC

– Yesh Atid Party head Yair Lapid and Yamina Party head Naftali Bennett announced on Wednesday that they have secured an agreement to form Israel’s next government, thereby likely ending the 12-year consecutive term of Benjamin Netanyahu as the country’s prime minister.

The new government will be unprecedented in its composition, consisting of seven parties spanning the entire Israeli political spectrum, plus the backing of...