Likud Picks Up One Knesset Seat for 36 Total, but Conservatives Come Up Three Shy of Majority Block

The big news in Israel the past several weeks has been the upcoming elections, which were held on March 2. Although exit polls confirmed a surge for Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, it wasn’t enough to put his conservative/right-wing coalition over the top. Although Likud captured 36 seats to rival Blue and White’s 33, the right-wing bloc supporting Likud still came up three seats short of the majority needed to form a government. Voter turnout was an impressive 71.32 percent. Reported by The Times of Israel (03/05/20). Read more…

On the conservative side of the ledger, Likud picked up 36 seats, the Shas picked up 9 seats, Yamina picked up 6, and the United Torah Judaism (UTJ) picked up 7, bringing the right wing bloc a total of 58 seats. On the center-left side of the ledger, Benny Gantz’s Blue and White (Kahol Lavan) picked up 33 seats, the Arab Joint List picked up an unprecedented 15, and Labor-Gesher-Meretz picked up 7 seats, for a total of 55 seats. And once again sitting as kingmaker is Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party with 7 seats that can make a majority for either block. Reported by The Times of Israel (03/04/20). Read more…