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  • Israelis are heading to the polls today in the country's fourth national election.

  • In just two years, voters face a choice between blocks start back longstanding Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and those who seek to oust him.

  • With the opposition fragmented, many fear the vote will once again lead to a shaky coalition.

  • That's if one can be formed at all every vote counts, and every little action of support, tool and all parties lives next to the Gaza border in southern Israel.

  • She's out in the streets to remind people to vote.

  • She has no doubts about who should remain Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

  • It's the moment of the elections.

  • I'm here to remind people who is the best to vote for him.

  • Bibi Netanyahu, Likud.

  • That's all the fourth election in two years as once again seen as award for or against Benyamin Netanyahu, the leader of the Likud Party, ran his election campaign on the much admired Covid 19 vaccination drive and the reopening of the economy.

  • This time he has several challenges or running on an anything but Netanyahu ticket.

  • Yeah, elope it with his centrist Yesh Atid party is second in the pulse, actually good politician Guidon Saar, with new hope, also aims to replace Netanyahu, just like writing enough Taliban it from Ja Mina, who's left it open whether he would join a coalition with Netanyahu.

  • We have about 3 to 4 leaders of the anti Netanyahu camp standing divided against Netanyahu.

  • So if you stand together but you are divided, the ability of co working is very limited.

  • So the ability for them to form a coalition that will be able to govern and we'll be able to survive is improbable.

  • To reach a majority in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, and to form a government, parties need to get 61 out of 120 seats.

  • For many Israelis, Netanyahu has become an increasingly divisive figure.

  • He's been in office since 2000 and nine, and he faces corruption charges in court allegations.

  • He denies Netanyahu stays are over.

  • He has been our prime minister for 15 years.

  • That's it.

  • We need something new, a different prime minister.

  • I think baby will be reelected because there's no one more promising.

  • Although I want to believe there is someone else.

  • I want the same prime minister to stay because he is good for everyone.

  • Look around you.

  • People are living thanks to the prime minister, People are alive.

  • Bibi Netanyahu.

  • Opinion polls suggest that Netanyahu's Likud will remain the strongest party.

  • What's less clear is who can build a coalition once the votes are counted.

  • Joining us now from Tel Aviv is Dahlia Scheindlin.

  • She's policy fellow at the Century Foundation.

  • Dahlia.

  • Is this election essentially an up or down vote on Benjamin Netanyahu?

  • That's a very good question, because if you ask many of the voters and many of the political campaigns and even political party leaders, it certainly seems so.

  • I think the prime, uh, offering that that some of the parties are saying is either we will keep Netanyahu in power, which is, for example, what the shots party saying, which is a loyalist party for Netanyahu, which has committed itself to going into a coalition with him and, of course, the challenger on the right, the breakaway party of Guidon Saar, who left Lee, could in order to challenge Netanyahu.

  • However, it's worth remembering that Israelis view Netanyahu as either someone they love or hate, not because of pure emotion but because he represents fundamentally distinct views on ideology, policy on the core issues that define Israeli life, from the Israeli Palestinian conflict to the nature of Israel's democratic institutions.

  • The judiciary, uh, to some extent the economy, uh, socially liberal ideas versus conservative religious views.

  • And so Israelis are voting on Netanyahu in support of a worldview, Uh, which direction the country will go next.

  • Uh, in support of a worldview is one thing, but with Netanyahu also be able to profit from the rather stunning success of the Israeli vaccination campaign.

  • Interestingly, it hasn't really changed his electoral fortunes very much so far in polling, and we have lots and lots of public opinion polls, and they've been very consistent.

  • Netanyahu has 36 seats in the outgoing Knesset, and his range, almost without any variation over this entire election campaign in the surveys, has been 28 30 seats, with a very slight rise towards the end in which a couple of surveys gave him 32 seats.

  • Now it certainly makes him the strongest party, but it looks like he will be losing some seats relative to the last election.

  • Uh, you might look at the at the success of the vaccination policy and the rollout as retaining his votes in a situation where he is vulnerable.

  • As you pointed out, he is on currently on trial for three different counts of corruption.

  • Many Israelis simply think he's been around too long.

  • He has been serving for the last 12 years, 15 years.

  • Cumulatively, if you count the 19 nineties and in in a normal situation, you would expect his vote to drop.

  • So perhaps the vaccinations have helped him retain first place, but they don't appear to be pushing him any stronger.

  • And certainly the pro Netanyahu parties those who would go into the block within a coalition with him are still not crossing 60 seats in any of the surveys.

  • We'll see what happens, of course, and we can always expect surprises.

  • But it doesn't seem like the vaccinations have changed people's minds for or against him.

  • Political analysts.

  • Dahlia Scheindlin in Tel Aviv.

  • Thank you, Dahlia.

  • Thank you.

Israelis are heading to the polls today in the country's fourth national election.

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Israelis are set to vote for the fourth time in two years | DW News

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/03/24
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