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Netanyahu down but not out

Despite the disappointing numbers emerging from Israel's election, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is telling his supporters that he is not done yet and that he intends to fight.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures at the Likud party headquarters following the announcement of exit polls during Israel's parliamentary election in Tel Aviv, Israel September 18, 2019. REUTERS/Ammar Awad - RC13C6D573A0
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reached the finish line of the most important election in his life having failed to achieve his two objectives. His bloc of right-wing and ultra-Orthodox parties did not win the 61 seats he needed, and his own Likud was not the largest party.

Worrying indications that this might happen accumulated throughout election day, but Netanyahu kept fighting, going out to Jerusalem’s Central Bus Station and the Mahaneh Yehuda market to encourage people to vote. And yet, by afternoon, the feeling in the prime minister’s Jerusalem residence, which also served as Netanyahu’s campaign headquarters, seemed to be that things were spinning out of control. Arab voters ended up going to the polls in droves. Seats that once belonged to Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu, which was integrated recently into the Likud, scattered every which way and the far-right Otzma Yehudit was well below the electoral threshold. Nevertheless, Netanyahu being who he is, he kept fighting until the polls closed.

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