Benjamin Netanyahu fails to win Israel parliamentary majority
Added 09-17-19 11:03:01pm EST - “In an apparent setback for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, exit polls show the Israeli leader has fallen short of securing a parliamentary majority with his hardline allies.” - Washingtontimes.com
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JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fell short of securing a parliamentary majority with his religious and nationalist allies in national elections Tuesday, initial exit polls showed, setting the stage for a period of coalition negotiations that could threaten his political future and clear the way for him to be tried on corruption charges.
Initial results posted by Israel’s three major television stations showed challenger Benny Gantz’s centrist Blue and White party tied or with a slight lead over Netanyahu’s Likud. While the results do not guarantee that Gantz will be the next prime minister, they signaled that Netanyahu, who has led the country for over 10 years, could have trouble holding on to the job.
Addressing his supporters early Wednesday, Netanyahu refused to concede defeat and vowed to work to form a new government that excludes Arab parties. His campaign focused heavily on attacking and questioning the loyalty of the country’s Arab minority – a strategy that drew accusations of racism and incitement from Arab leaders.
“In the coming days we will convene negotiations to assemble a strong Zionist government and to prevent a dangerous anti-Zionist government,” he said. He claimed that Arab parties “negate the existence of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state” and “glorify bloodthirsty murderers.”
Israeli exit polls are often imprecise, and final results, expected Wednesday, could still swing in Netanyahu’s favor. But all three stations predicted a similar outcome.
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