Israel Votes, but Little Mystery Over Who Will Win
Netanyahu almost certain to be re-elected, but voters turning out
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2013 8:24 AM CST
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu casts his ballot?at a polling station in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.   (AP Photo/Uriel Sinai, Pool)

(Newser) – It's election day in Israel, but there's not a lot of intrigue: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is almost certain to win another term, although his ticket (a joint ticket combining his conservative Likud Party with the ultranationalist Yisrael Beiteinu) could lose as many as 10 of the seats it currently holds in Parliament, perhaps to Jewish Home, a party that is further to the right. Despite the foregone conclusion, YNetNews reports that the country is seeing its highest voter turnout since 1999, and the election could end up breaking voting records in Israel.

The New York Times reports that voter participation had previously been dropping steadily, perhaps due to voter fatigue (Israel held five general elections, plus a direct ballot for prime minister, between 1992 and 2009); it was at less than 65% in 2009. This year, the Central Elections Committee ran a rousing voter drive, and President Shimon Peres urged everyone to vote. The Jerusalem Post notes that US media don't seem to care about the Israeli vote, perhaps because it falls on the day after President Obama's second inauguration. Most US coverage has focused on the less-than-exciting nature of the race and the lack of debate in Israel on some topics—for example, Netanyahu's failure to produce a formal platform.

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Showing 3 of 6 comments
Jan 22, 2013 12:28 PM CST
Bibi is a total prick. We cannot continue to support their apartheid, racist, genocidal policies. And no way should we go to war with Iran for them. Israel is not worth the cost. The world would get along just fine without Israel.
Jan 22, 2013 12:03 PM CST
Don't give up hope. This could be a "Dewey Beats Truman" moment. Election-eve polls show an historically high voter turnout that is now approaching 70%. Many commentators agree that if turnout crosses that threshold, Labor might win. Furthermore, pollsters are showing pro-peace party Yesh Atid coming in at a very close second to Likud. Last but not least, polls indicate historically high turnout among Israeli Arabs. Don't give up hope. Let's see what tomorrow brings.
Jan 22, 2013 11:34 AM CST
Perhaps the Israelis are humanity reflected in a microcosm. They shoot themselves in the foot and blame everyone else for it.