It seems that Benjamin Netanyahu’s days at the helm of the State of Israel have finally come to an end following a general election that saw the Likud leader’s party pipped at the post by General Benny Gantz’s new Blue and White bloc. While the Blue and Whites are only one seat ahead this should give Gantz first crack at forming a coalition with the minor parties that will control almost half the seats in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament.
Though the views of General Gantz barely differs from those of Netanyahu, his Blue and White alliance defines itself as a “liberal” centre party and the retired general at least pays lip-service to resuming negotiations with the Palestinian leadership.
The leaders of the communist-led ‘Joint List’, which draws much of its support from the Arab Palestinian minority in Israel, were pleased at their own showing in the polls with a projected win of 13 seats in the new parliament.
“We’re back to being the third largest party in the Knesset,” said Joint List head, Ayman Odeh, who expressed the hope that “the era of Netanyahu is over and he will now either have to go home or to prison.” Odeh agreed with observers that, if the final results indeed match the exit polls, Arab voters will have “prevented Netanyahu from forming a government”.
Let’s hope so…