Netanyahu Lacks Reelection Majority
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
With most votes counted, Netanyahu lacks a 61-seat coalition majority.
One tally gives him 60 seats with coalition partners, another 59.
Here's where things stand. Netanyahu's Likud won 30 of 120 Knesset seats. Results for other parties were as follows:
Yesh Atid -- 17 seats
Shas -- 9 seats
Kahol Lavan -- 8
Yamina -- 7
United Torah Judaism (UTJ) -- 7
Yisrael Beiteinu -- 7
Labor -- 7
New Hope -- 6
Joint (Arab) List -- 6
Religious Zionism -- 6
Meretz -- 5
United Arab List (UAL) -- 5
Vote counting continues. On Wednesday and Thursday, it's being tallied for soldiers, hospital patients, nursing home residents, prisoners, and others unable to cast ballots at polling stations -- about 450,000 so-called double envelope ballots.
Unofficial final results are expected on Friday, according to Central Elections Committee director Orly Ades.
Yamina and UAL haven't indicated support for the pro-or-anti-Netanyahu bloc.
UAL leader Mansour Abbas said he's not "obligated to any bloc or candidate."
At this time, they're kingmakers. They have say over who''ll be Israeli prime minister.
Likud MK Tzachi Hanegbi said the party is willing to accept UAL as a coalition partner.
Is the Arab party willing to hand sworn enemy Netanyahu another term as prime minister?
Surprisingly, results so far in Israel's three largest cities differed.
In Jerusalem, votes for United Torah Judaism were greater than for other parties.
In Tel Aviv, Yesh Atid tallied highest while Haifa favored Likud.
If a ruling coalition cannot be formed post-election, a 5th one in the past two years will be held.
Netanyahu's bloc includes Likud, Shas, United Torah Judaism, and the Religious Party.
With Yamina, their two seats short of a majority bloc.
Will UAL leader Mansour Abbas join the pro-Netanyahu bloc to put it over the top?
He collaborated with Netanyahu before to gain Arab community benefits that can be easily lost?
At this time, neither bloc won. Political jockeying is underway by both sides to enhance their positions.
Things could come to a head quickly or drag out for days.
Will UAL's Arab Islamist Mansour Abbas decide whether Netanyahu remains Israeli prime minister or Yesh Atid's Yair Lapid succeeds him?
He can swing the election either way.
On Wednesday, he said "(w)e want to use not only parliamentary tools, but cabinet tools to accomplish things for the benefit of Arab society."
While campaigning, Netanyahu ruled out an alliance with UAL, calling Abbas an anti-Zionist.
Now he needs him unless able to gain support from others not in his camp.
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"Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity"