JERUSALEM – After a campaign widely regarded as a referendum on his rule, Benjamin Netanyahu is the winner of Israel's election as he leads to a record fifth term as Prime Minister.
The Likud Party's apparent victory paves the way for Netanyahu to build a coalition with its ultra-orthodox and religious-nationalist allies.
Here's a look at some other winners and losers in the election:
Ultra-orthodox Jewish parties, the Prime Minister's key allies in the last three governments, got a handful of seats . The Sardhardi Orthodox Party Shas, for example, rose to become the third largest party in parliament. Ultra-Orthodox parties ordered 1
As the former Netanyahu administration, ultra-religious parties are likely to exert great influence despite the fact that they represent less than 20% of Israel's Jewish population.
Netanyahu drafted fierce condemnation at home and abroad to mediate an alliance of religious nationalists and ultra-nationalist extremists called the Union of Right Wing parties. Representatives of a religious ultra-nationalist faction inspired by the Forbidden Kahanist movement, labeled a terrorist organization of the United States for an agenda involving forced expulsion of Palestinians merged with a religious settlement party.
Netanyahu's gambit paid off and the Union scraped past the election threshold.
Their winnings can equip Netanyahu to pursue a tough agenda that could see Israel, anchor its control over the West Bank and extinguish hopes for a future Palestinian state.
The parties have also signaled the & # 39; ll stand by the prime minister if he is accused of corruption charges and supports him in passing the immunity laws to protect him from prosecution.
Former army chief Benny Gantz proclaimed victory to a bubbly crowd at Blue and White's electoral party in Tel Aviv, when closing votes had him in a dead heat with Netanyahu. He woke up Wednesday to news that although his party matched Likud's voices, the interim election results gave Netanyahu's potential coalition of religious and nationalist parties a clear majority in parliament.
The blue and white party later admitted defeat, but promised to "embitter" Netanyahu and his allies from the opposition.
Party leaders said their "extraordinary result" showed that a wide spectrum of Israelis sought "a true alternative" to Netanyahu's 10-year consecutive office. Gantz said his party is capable of 70 days to match the power of a party that has been a dominant force in Israeli politics since the 1970s.
Israel's liberal and socialist left wing suffered a great defeat. The Labor Party, which founded Israel and dominated politics in its first 30 years, fell to a historically low in just six places in the 120-member parliament.
Several factors, including disillusionment with party chairman Avi Gabbay, contributed to the Workers' Autumn. But most significantly, the centrist blue and white party replaced Labor as the most important viable alternative to long-term regulating Likud, siphoning the support from the left.
Dovish Meretz Party lost parliamentary seats that earned at least four. The country's Arab parties, plagued by low Arab attendance and split by betting among faction leaders, dropped from 13 seats to just 10 years.
Far from its thriving time in Israel's pioneering era, Israel's left now sees doomed as Yohanan Plesner of Israel's Democracy Institute said, "representing a pure niche."
The fallen stars
The New Right Party, led by Minister of Education Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, must not win the necessary 3.25% of the vote to qualify for the Knesset, Israel's Parliament.
The few popular pro-settlers ministers split from their religious-nationalist Jewish home party and sought greater power by drawing secular voters. The maneuver decided again.
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The Utranationalist Libertarian Moshe Feiglin & # 39; s Zehut Party, which appeared as the Cinderella story of the election, also saw its parliamentary aspirations evaporate as the real voices were less than the minimum needed to enter parliament. 19659003] Feiglin drew attention to the campaigns' attempts by appealing to young religious nationalist voters with a platform for marijuana legalization, free market economy and annexation of the Israeli occupied West Bank – along with a lot of other conflicting policies, such as rejects US military aid and pays Arabs to emigrate if they refused to accept Jewish sovereignty.
Pre-election surveys predicted Feiglin would be a possible kingmaker. But after failing to do so, former defense minister Avigdor Lieberman and finance minister Moshe Kahlon, leery Netanyahu allies, are now ready to become coalition brokers.