Bibi Victorious

 

Despite long odds, brutal attacks from the press in Israel and around the globe, and a meddling U.S. President, Bibi Netanyahu appears to have come out on top in today’s election. Here’s a quick round-up of coverage.

The Times of Israel:

TV exit polls Tuesday night showed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Likud set to retain the Israeli leadership at the end of a bitter election campaign. Netanyahu claimed victory early Wednesday morning, though his rival Isaac Herzog did not concede defeat.

Polling stations opened at 7 a.m. on Tuesday and Israeli citizens headed for the ballots to vote for Israel’s 20th Knesset. Polls from the end of last week had left options open for a tight race. The TV exit polls were published at 10 p.m., as polling stations closed, after which official results began to roll in. The official final results won’t be publicized until Thursday.

…Unlike years past, analysts had said the race between Likud and Zionist Union, the two leading factions, was too close to call with confidence, but the exit polls showed Netanyahu clearly better placed to build the next coalition. At 1 a.m. on Wednesday morning, he delivered a celebratory speech in which he hailed a “victory against the odds… a victory for our people.”

Jerusalem Post:

A triumphant Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Likud supporters in his victory speech early Wednesday that he would aim to form “a strong, stable government” that would tackle “security and socioeconomic challenges.”

Netanyahu told a jubilant crowd of Likud supporters early Wednesday morning that “against all odds, we have scored a major victory for the Likud.”

“Hail, hail, Bibi,” Likud adherents chanted as Netanyahu took to the podium on Wednesday.

“We have scored a major victory for the nationalist camp headed by Likud,” Netanyahu said.

“I’m proud of the Israeli people because at the moment of truth they knew to differentiate between challenge and nonsense and they took up the challenge,” the prime minister said.

Washington Post:

TEL AVIV — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu overcame a strong challenge in Israel’s parliamentary elections Tuesday to finish in a virtual tie with his main opponent, Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog, according to exit poll results reported by Israel’s three largest television news stations.

After the initial exit poll results were announced, Netanyahu declared victory on Twitter. He said he has already begun to call potential coalition partners about forming a new government.

“Against all odds, we achieved a great victory,” Netanyahu later told his supporters in a packed hall in Tel Aviv at around 1 a.m. Wednesday. “Now we have to form a strong and stable government.”

The crowd chanted, “No unity government!”

Netanyahu called the results “a miracle” and said his fellow Likud members were “magicians.”

But Herzog said Netanyahu’s victory declaration was premature. “This result enables us to return to power,” he told his supporters. “We’re going to wait for the true results. Every result right now is an exit poll. Everything is still open.”

Meanwhile, some “Dewey Defeats Truman” coverage from earlier today:

Bibi Netanyahu Shoots Himself in the Foot (Huffington Post)

Bye bye, Bibi: Why today will be different for Israel’s left-leaning coalition (Reuters)

Did Bibi’s speech hurt his chances? (Politico)

There are 48 comments.

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  1. Randal H Member
    Randal H
    @RandalH

    It’s likely Obama’s meddling in the campaign helped Netanyahu. I suppose we owe him a debt of gratitude.

    • #1
  2. Dave Carter Podcaster
    Dave Carter
    @DaveCarter

    One point and one prediction:

    Point: It is imminently possible to run a forceful and vigorous campaign on conviction, stand up to progressives in office and in the media, and win. RNC, please take note.

    Prediction: The most under-reported story in 2015 will be the efforts of the Obama administration, using taxpayer dollars, to derail an election amongst one of our closest allies.

    • #2
  3. tabula rasa Member
    tabula rasa
    @tabularasa

    Yes!!

    • #3
  4. Butters Inactive
    Butters
    @CommodoreBTC

    please get Judith on the podcast this week

    • #4
  5. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Maybe the failure of the Democratic Party operatives bodes well for us for 2016! :)

    • #5
  6. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Admin
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.
    @jon

    This tweet might as well have been designed in a lab to annoy liberals:

    • #6
  7. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    thumbs up

    • #7
  8. user_379896 Coolidge
    user_379896
    @Mountie

    And now for the hard work, facing down the mullahs and preventing a nuclear Iran. Doing the job for the West that the West should be able to do for itself. But won’t.

    God Bless him.

    • #8
  9. CuriousKevmo Member
    CuriousKevmo
    @CuriousKevmo

    Please forgive my ignorance, I have little knowledge of Israeli politics, but looking at the exit polling it would seem to me that the election has ended in essentially a dead heat. How is it that Mr. Netanyahu is sufficiently confident to give a victory speech with such an uncertain outcome?

    • #9
  10. Douglas Inactive
    Douglas
    @Douglas

    “Damnit! Bush got his regime change. I want mine. I want my regime change, now!”

    – heard between screaming and breaking sounds at 1600 Penn. Ave.

    • #10
  11. Autistic License Thatcher
    Autistic License
    @AutisticLicense

    Does anyone have a favorite source on evidence of election tampering in Israel by the White House?

    • #11
  12. Son of Spengler Contributor
    Son of Spengler
    @SonofSpengler

    CuriousKevmo:Please forgive my ignorance, I have little knowledge of Israeli politics, but looking at the exit polling it would seem to me that the election has ended in essentially a dead heat. How is it that Mr. Netanyahu is sufficiently confident to give a victory speech with such an uncertain outcome?

    No party will have enough seats for an outright majority, but the right wing parties appear to have come away with a solid victory. There is no realistic way for the left wing to cobble together a governing coalition. So Netanyahu, as the leader of the largest right-wing party, will almost certainly be invited to form a government — even if his Likud party is down a seat or two vs. Labor.

    • #12
  13. EstoniaKat Inactive
    EstoniaKat
    @ScottAbel

    Dave Carter:Prediction:The most under-reported story in 2015 will be the efforts of the Obama administration, using taxpayer dollars, to derail an election amongst one of our closest allies.

    Citation, please.

    I’ve been looking for it.

    • #13
  14. CuriousKevmo Member
    CuriousKevmo
    @CuriousKevmo

    Son of Spengler:

    CuriousKevmo:Please forgive my ignorance, I have little knowledge of Israeli politics, but looking at the exit polling it would seem to me that the election has ended in essentially a dead heat. How is it that Mr. Netanyahu is sufficiently confident to give a victory speech with such an uncertain outcome?

    No party will have enough seats for an outright majority, but the right wing parties appear to have come away with a solid victory. There is no realistic way for the left wing to cobble together a governing coalition. So Netanyahu, as the leader of the largest right-wing party, will almost certainly be invited to form a government — even if his Likud party is down a seat or two vs. Labor.

    Got it, thanks SoS. It’s hard, when reading the results, for an outsider to know which of those parties is considered left and which right. Your explanation makes sense though, thanks again.

    • #14
  15. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Autistic License:Does anyone have a favorite source on evidence of election tampering in Israel by the White House?

    I’ve heard Caroline Glick’s name mentioned, just started googling around right now. Starting here:

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/01/26/obama-campaign-team-arrives-in-israel-to-defeat-netanyahu-in-march-elections/

    So far I haven’t read anything about taxpayer money being spent, but that’s what I heard on the radio today.

    Edit: Just found this news clip from fox, the Senate is investigating a grant from the State Dept to One Voice, the tax exempt group sent to help defeat Bibi.

    http://video.foxnews.com/v/4115518189001/us-tax-exempt-groups-supporting-opposition-to-netanyahu/?playlist_id=930909819001#sp=show-clips

    • #15
  16. Son of Spengler Contributor
    Son of Spengler
    @SonofSpengler

    Annefy:

    Autistic License:Does anyone have a favorite source on evidence of election tampering in Israel by the White House?

    I’ve heard Caroline Glick’s name mentioned, just started googling around right now. Starting here:

    http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/01/26/obama-campaign-team-arrives-in-israel-to-defeat-netanyahu-in-march-elections/

    So far I haven’t read anything about taxpayer money being spent, but that’s what I heard on the radio today.

    Edit: Just found this news clip from fox, the Senate is investigating a grant from the State Dept to One Voice, the tax exempt group sent to help defeat Bibi.

    http://video.foxnews.com/v/4115518189001/us-tax-exempt-groups-supporting-opposition-to-netanyahu/?playlist_id=930909819001#sp=show-clips

    Here’s another article, from Haaretz.

    • #16
  17. Snirtler Inactive
    Snirtler
    @Snirtler

    CuriousKevmo:

    It’s hard, when reading the results, for an outsider to know which of those parties is considered left and which right.

    Here’s a WP guide on the main Israeli parties. And Gil Reich had a helpful post with pictures!

    • #17
  18. Dave Carter Podcaster
    Dave Carter
    @DaveCarter

    Also this
    http://freebeacon.com/issues/group-working-to-influence-israeli-elections-still-receiving-state-department-funding/

    • #18
  19. user_86050 Inactive
    user_86050
    @KCMulville

    All I can say is … heheheheheheh …buwahahahahahaah

    • #19
  20. Roberto Member
    Roberto
    @Roberto

    Son of Spengler:

    No party will have enough seats for an outright majority, but the right wing parties appear to have come away with a solid victory. There is no realistic way for the left wing to cobble together a governing coalition. So Netanyahu, as the leader of the largest right-wing party, will almost certainly be invited to form a government — even if his Likud party is down a seat or two vs. Labor.

    It has actually been rather amusing listening to NPR’s coverage of these events in Israel. All reports have begun with the assumed outcome being that of a coalition government, as if that outcome was inevitable, as if Netanyahu had not clearly and publicly stated that he rejected such a pact.

    The desperation for something, anything is rather palpable as well as the strong dislike of Netanyahu. Unfortunately I predict one of outcomes of this election will be that the Israeli bashing on the US Left will become much more vociferous and nastier than we have seen thus far. I suspect there are some very, very disappointed and angry administration officials tonight.

    • #20
  21. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    Butters:please get Judith on the podcast this week

    Would also like to hear from Annika Hernroth-Rothstein.

    • #21
  22. tabula rasa Member
    tabula rasa
    @tabularasa

    Could this mean that Obama and Kerry don’t sleep well tonight? I hope so.

    • #22
  23. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Admin
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.
    @jon

    With 91%+ in:
    Likud 23.45%
    ZU 18.82%
    Arabs 10.54%
    Lapid 8.83%
    Kahlon 7.47%
    Bennett 6.35%
    Shas 5.87%
    YB 5.20%
    UTJ 5.16%
    Meretz 3.88%
    *Yachad 3.00%

    • #23
  24. user_82762 Thatcher
    user_82762
    @JamesGawron

    To All of Ricochet,

    Somewhere JStreet is laughing, somewhere Obamites shout.

    But there is no joy in Appeasementville, mighty $oros has struck out.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #24
  25. Snirtler Inactive
    Snirtler
    @Snirtler

    With 90% of votes counted, it’s up to Kahlon’s Kulanu. Wasn’t Kahlon playing coy and flirting both with Likud and the Zionist Union before the election?

    His party would complete a right-wing-nationalist-religious coalition:

    Likud – 30 seats; Jewish Home – 8; Shas – 7; Israel Beitenu – 6; Kulanu – 10

    But if Kulanu were to ally with the Zionist Union, it might be possible to construct a left-center coalition:

    Zionist Union – 24; Joint Arab List (Hadash) – 13; Yesh Atid – 11; Meretz – 4; Kulanu – 10

    Is a center-left coalition feasible? I ask because the head of the Arab List Ayman Odeh supposedly has not ruled out joining forces with Herzog’s Zionist Union. Strange bedfellows, but couldn’t they unite based on their loathing of Netanyahu?

    • #25
  26. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Admin
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.
    @jon

    Another update from @Kerpen on Twitter:

    94.5% in:
    Likud 23.24%
    ZU 18.77%
    Arabs 11%
    Lapid 8.79%
    Kahlon 7.42%
    Bennett 6.41%
    Shas 5.79%
    YB 5.17%
    UTJ 5.13%
    Meretz 3.89%
    *Yachad 2.97%

    • #26
  27. Snirtler Inactive
    Snirtler
    @Snirtler

    Haaretz has just called it for Likud:

    With 99.5 percent of the ballots counted, Likud is increasing its lead with 29 Knesset seats, compared to the Zionist Union’s 24.

    The Joint List, the third-largest party, gets 14 seats, followed by Yesh Atid with 11, Kulanu with 10, Habayit Hayehudi with eight, Shas and United Torah Judaism with seven each, Yisrael Beiteinu with six, and Meretz with four. It appears at this point that Yahad has not crossed the electoral threshold.

    Number of seats by party also found here.

    • #27
  28. Mark Thatcher
    Mark
    @GumbyMark

    Likud is the largest party and most likely to form coalition but this is not yet over.

    The oddest thing about this from an American perspective is the ongoing delusion of the Obama Administration that it makes a difference who wins the Israeli elections. The parties differ on economic and social issues but on the Palestinians and Iran there is not much difference if you listen closely. There is simply no conceivable Israeli government whether led by Likud or Labour which is going to do what Obama/Kerry want them to do on the Palestinians. That’s because the Peace Now wing of Israeli politics was destroyed by Arafat in the second intifada. It is impossible to make peace with the Palestinians because, at least for now, they are not interested in it and this is widely recognized across the Israeli political spectrum despite the fringe ravings published in Haaretz and so beloved of U.S. progressives.

    • #28
  29. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    So I have seen people making a big deal out of the fact that the Joint Arab list took third place. Does this mean anything? From what I understand even Labor was on record as not wanting to coalition with them.

    Also is it fair to say that Likud won by scaring the Israeli right into voting with talk of the increased Arab vote. I saw on Anderson Cooper the guests talking about this. Does this mean that Arabs will now have more say in Israeli government or less. Was this tactic not in fact a form of race batting? Did it actually happen? From what I was hearing on the show I can’t say it raises my opinion of Mr. Netanyahu, in fact it seems to help confirm some of the more negative views of Israeli society visa vi its Arab population.

    For those who support the One State solution, which I have heard of on this site, that scenario would require that Israel grant citizenship to millions more Arabs, eventually. If the increased turnout of the 20% Arabs now can be used in such a manner now how will it ever be possible to contemplate a +40% Arab population?

    • #29
  30. Snirtler Inactive
    Snirtler
    @Snirtler

    Valiuth:Also is it fair to say that Likud won by scaring the Israeli right into voting with talk of the increased Arab vote. I saw on Anderson Cooper the guests talking about this.

    An alternative hypothesis is that pre-election polls were off. Wouldn’t be the first time.

    • #30

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