LISTEN LIVE KPR - On Air: Listen Live to classical, jazz and NPR news Schedule LATEST
NEWSCAST
KPR 2 - On Air: Listen live to KPR's all talk-radio service, KPR2 Recordings

Share this page              

Elections Do Little To Point The Way Out Of Israel's Political Impasse

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses his supporters at party headquarters after elections in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Wednesday.

Israel's second election in less than six months looks unlikely to clear up its political impasse, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once again falling short of a majority in parliament and forced to scramble for allies to retain power.

Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party is projected to win 30 to 33 seats in the 120-member Knesset, while the centrist Blue and White party led by former military chief Benny Gantz looked likely to get 32 to 34 seats.

If the projections hold, it would be a virtual rerun of April's polling that saw the rivals securing 32 seats each, far short of the 61 needed for an absolute majority.

Netanyahu is seeking an unprecedented fifth term while simultaneously facing a rash of corruption allegations that have eroded his popularity and threatened to remove him from office. He has adopted a divisive and nationalistic campaign style and has sought to parlay his close relationship with President Trump to bolster the impression that he alone can guarantee Israel's security.

Likud with its natural allies could muster 56 seats. That likely puts Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beitenu party, projected to secure about 10 seats, in the role of kingmaker.

Lieberman, a former top aide to Netanyahu who has since fallen out with the prime minister, campaigned on a pledge to bring Likud and Blue and White and his own party into a government. He told supporters on election night that is still his goal.

"Everything we said before the election, we are also saying after the election," he said. "We have only one option: a broad, liberal, national government made up of Yisrael Beitenu, Likud and Blue and White."

Even so, Gantz has declined any coalition with Likud while Netanyahu faces corruption charges.

Although the results pointed to no clear victory, Netanyahu said he was ready to work on forming a government based on the right ideology.

"In the coming days we will convene negotiations to assemble a strong Zionist government and to prevent a dangerous anti-Zionist government," he said.

Ayman Odeh, the head of Joint List, an alliance of Arab-dominated parties, said Netanyahu's anti-Arab rhetoric had boosted turnout and increased its numbers in parliament. If Gantz and Netanyahu form a coalition, it would leave Joint List the official opposition party in parliament.

"There's a heavy price to pay for incitement," he told Channel 13 television.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute

See the Coverage Map for more details

Contact Us

Kansas Public Radio
1120 West 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Download Map
785-864-4530 (Main Line)
888-577-5268 (Toll Free)
contact@kansaspublicradio.org