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Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett meeting their supporters after the exit polls were released
Fearing obsolescence, small parties seek to reassure supporters, hope for postive outcome
While Gantz and Netanyahu both claim victory, the other end of the scale is filled with politicians who await the true results to discover whether they have made it into the 21st Knesset
As exit polls showed a close match between Blue and White Party and rival Likud after Tuesday's elections, the smaller parties struggling to pass the threshold of votes needed to win a place in the next Knesset, sought to reassure their supporters as they awaited the true results to begin to come in.

 

 

The Union of Right-Wing Parties, who won 4-5 Knesset seats according to the exit polls, celebrated the strength of their collaboration between the Jewish Home and extreme-right Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power), which allowed them to pass the electoral threshold.

 

Itamar Ben-Gvir visit a market in Jerusalem before the elections (Photo: Eli Mendelbaum)
Itamar Ben-Gvir visit a market in Jerusalem before the elections (Photo: Eli Mendelbaum)

 

"Tonight, we learned that the unity between Otzma Yehudit and Jewish Home saved the rule of the right," said the Union in a statement.

 

"The path of the National Religious sector won and proved that it is far stronger than any particular leader," the statement said, apparently referring to Naftali Bennett, who left the Jewish Home in order to form the New Right Party.

 

"We expect the prime minister to announce that he plans to form a rightist government, in which we see ourselves as senior partners. We will very soon start drawing the lines of the policies this future government will promote," said the statement.

 

Both Bennett and fellow New Right leader Ayelet Shaked remained optimistic Tuesday night, despite the fact two out of three exit polls showed them failing to pass the threshold.

   

Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett meeting their supporters after the exit polls were released
Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett meeting their supporters after the exit polls were released

 

"We have patience and strong nerves," said Bennett. "The New Right will pass the threshold… We are sure of our rightful way… We take care of our soldiers and the soldiers will take care of us," he said, apparently pinning his hopes on the soldiers' votes, which come in after the rest of the results.

  

Miri Regev from the Likud Party told Ynet that it was too early to make any bold statements but that the right-wing bloc had been victorious.

 

"We have a long night ahead of us," she said. "We must wait for the soldiers' votes, anything can change. The Israeli public said yes to the rightist bloc and no to the leftist bloc."

 

מירי רגב בשוק הכרמל בתל אביב (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
מירי רגב בשוק הכרמל בתל אביב (Photo: Motti Kimchi)
 

 

Orly Levy-Abekasis, leader of the Gesher Party, thanked her supporters and expressed her disappointment as exit polls showed her party failing to cross the threshold.

 

"We really wanted to take care of our society's daily issues," she said. "Every single vote we received gives me a feeling that there is a spark, there is a public that believes in our values."

 

She also expressed the hope that the final results would secure her a presence in the Knesset.

 

"On Wednesday morning, when the true results come in, we might see a different picture," she said.

 

Orly Levy-Abekasis (Photo: Efi Sharir)
Orly Levy-Abekasis (Photo: Efi Sharir)

 

Ayman Odeh, leader of the Hadash-Ta'al joint list, thanked the country's Arab citizens for participating in the elections.

 

"Thank you, Arabs and Jews who believe in democracy, and all those who went out and voted despite incitement, hate and racist legislation," said Odeh. He also expressed the hope that the other Arab list, Balad-Ra'am, would defy the exit polls and make it into the Knesset again.

 

Hadash-Ta'al leader  Ayman Odeh with his supporters (Photo: AFP)
Hadash-Ta'al leader Ayman Odeh with his supporters (Photo: AFP)

 

"We are waiting for the true results, I believe Balad-Ra'am will also be joining us in the next Knesset, and together we will continue fighting for peace and equality," he said. Only one exit poll predicted Balad-Ra'am would pass the threshold.

 

The Zehut Party, whom many thought would be the big surprise performer of the 2019 elections, failed to pass the threshold in any of the exit polls, despite the high hopes and the lively discussions its views stirred.

 

Moshe Feiglin votes on the Tuesday elections  (Photo: Yair Sagi)
Moshe Feiglin votes on the Tuesday elections (Photo: Yair Sagi)

 

However, Zehut's leader Moshe Feiglin said he isn't calling it quits yet, and also hoped that the soldiers' votes might make a difference and win the party some Knesset seats.

 

"No one knows if Zehut is in or out. We might not know tomorrow as well, since the soldiers make up some eight seats," said Feiglin, whose enjoys a lot of support from younger crowds due to his initial promise to legalize cannabis.

 

Moshe Kahlon, leader of Kulanu, and Avigdor Lieberman leader of Yisrael Beytenu declined to comment before the true results come in on Wednesday.

 


פרסום ראשון: 04.10.19, 01:32
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