Benjamin Netanyahu claims "the most important victory" of his life

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after the victory of his party, Likud, at the Tel Aviv Exhibition Center on March 3.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after the victory of his party, Likud, at the Tel Aviv Exhibition Center on March 3. AMIR COHEN / REUTERS

He had to hasten to proclaim his victory to make it inevitable. At the Tel Aviv exhibition center, Tuesday, March 3 at around 2 a.m., Benjamin Netanyahu interrupts a cheering room, looking like a nightclub, to record the victory of his party, Likud, in the Israeli legislative elections, the third in a year. The Israeli and American flags are lowered. An old guitarist in a tuxedo is silent. A man removes his rubber mask with the effigy of "Bibi" Netanyahu, whom some kissed full on the mouth a few hours earlier.

It’s nothing less than "The most important victory of (her) life ", sighs the Prime Minister, all the more "Gentle" that she imposes herself "Against all odds. We have faced immense powers. They were already burying us. They said that Netanyahu's era was over "he thunders, his bass voice hoarse from almost a year of uninterrupted campaigning.

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Based on 90% of the votes cast, the Likoud was in the lead on Tuesday morning, with 36 seats and a comfortable lead over its rivals Bleu Bleu (32). But during the night, Mr. Netanyahu said nothing about the two mandates that are still missing from his alliance with ultranationalist and religious parties, to form a majority in the Knesset (61 parliamentarians). The official count will continue until Tuesday evening. A seat won or lost here and there would make a big difference.

The Prime Minister has not gotten over doubts: he has promised to quickly form a right-wing coalition. When the crowd whistled for opposition, he did not rule out a union government with his main rival, ex-chief of staff Benny Gantz. But it would be on its terms. Mr. Netanyahu also measures the weariness of voters. Thus, his former defense minister and rival, Avigdor Lieberman, with a disappointing score of seven seats, said Tuesday morning that he wanted to save the Israelis a 4e rank poll.

Driven by record participation for twenty years (71% according to polls), Mr. Netanyahu returns to the painful hut of May 2019, when he had missed a single member of parliament to obtain a majority. However, this time, the tide has turned. It is no longer a Prime Minister at the end of his reign who comes out of the ballot box, awaiting his imminent charges for acts of corruption, fraud and breach of trust. Justice has advanced since then, and his supporters have declared, at the polls, their hostility or their indifference to these charges.


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