Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin and his wife Sarah cast their ballots during the Israeli parliamentary elections on September 17, 2019. the army of the blue and white party, Benny Gantz, said Tuesday that his party's vote is a vote for change.
"T give, we vote for change. We will be able to breathe hope, all together, without corruption and without extremism," he said with a thinly veiled review of Netanyahu's legal woes.
Many agree that this election comes down to a referendum on Netanyahu's time this summer, he becoming the country's longest serving prime minister, surpassing Israel's founding father David Ben-Gurion.
"These elections are approximately the same thing that every election in Israel has been taking place in the last 25 years. Two words: Benjamin Netanyahu, ”said Michael Oren, a former Israeli ambassador to the United States. to try to form a government after consulting with party leaders to see which candidate will have the best chance to form a coalition, but the prime minister has not reached the 61 seats needed to run one after his former ally Avigdor Lieberman refused to c
Instead of risking another leader being able to negotiate a coalition government, Netanyahu dissolved parliament, triggering an election moment. No party has ever won a majority in Israeli politics. ] Beyond Netanyahu's political career, elections will also decide Israel's future.
"Likud and Prime Minister Netanyahu propose to continue the path we have taken over the last decade," said Nir Barkat, a former mayor of Jerusalem and member of the Likud party. "Which is to expand international relations, increase our security and naturally our economy has thrived over the last decade." .
Asked whether Israel "would remain in the orbit of the liberal democracies of Western Europe and the United States, or would rotate in authoritarian directions and become a cult of Netanyahu's personality," he said.
The advertising billboard of the campaign shows the leader of the Blue and White party, Benny Ganz, in the Arab city of Baka al-Garbier, northern Israel. Arabic script says, "I commit to work for you." Ariel Shalit / AP
In an effort to tilt the balance in his favor, Netanyahu has dominated the airwaves and newspaper columns in Israel in recent days through a series of messages including promised to start annexing parts of the West Bank, starting in the Jordan Valley, if re-elected as prime minister.
He also disclosed that Israel had discovered a secret nuclear weapons development facility in central Iran in an attempt to present itself as Mr Security. And he's also trading relations with President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Last week, he stated that the Trump administration's peace plan was likely to be published shortly after the election.
A member of the Israeli community, Druze leaves after his vote during the parliamentary elections in Israel on September 17, 2019 in Dali Al-Carmel in northern Israel. Jalaa Marey / AFP – Getty Images
And over the weekend, Trump showed up to help Netanyahu with a helping hand, saying the couple had discussed the possibility of a mutual defense treaty between the US and Israel and that he expects to eager to continue talks with Netanyahu after the Israeli election.
But it is unclear whether the messages will be enough to direct Netanyahu
"He is almost a magician. He was constantly able to put his hand in his hat and take out a rabbit, and for the past two weeks he had been inserting his hand into his hat and removing a dead squirrel, "said Seidman. "Whether this will have enough impact to prevent his re-election, only time will tell."
One of the major challenges for Netanyahu is that he is fighting for re-election under a cloud of anticipated corruption charges that painted him a hedonist with a tendency for expensive gifts. The Israeli Attorney General is expected to decide whether to formally blame the prime minister by the end of 2019 after a court hearing in October.
"It is clear that Benjamin Netanyahu is weak and even wounded," said Oren, a former US ambassador, "The election for Benjamin Netanyahu is not about politics, but about survival."
There are some stumbling blocks and traces campaign. At a rally in Tel Aviv on Sunday, supporters chanted Netanyahu's name, but the prime minister ultimately failed to show up, prompting speculation about the reason for his absence.
Bad political optics came less than a week after Netanyahu was ousted from the scene of another rally when sirens rang out with a warning about a missile attack from Gaza, a sight that provides electoral food for his rivals.
If the elections create a deadlock again, one option for Netanyahu would be to try to form a government for national unity with the Blue and Wai Party. But Gantz said earlier that he would not join the government with Netanyahu because of possible corruption charges against him.
Netanyahu, who is seeking a fifth term of office, is unlikely to agree to serve in any other government. [
"Netanyahu is a nine-line cat; he has already used 17 of them. I would not take any bets on his political longevity, "he said.
Neely, Goldman and Jabari report from Tel Aviv and Smith from London.