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The Rapture Report - Israel Election Results

Israel Election Results
Written: 2-11-09
Rapture Forum Staff: Chris

Welcome to the latest edition of the Rapture Report. This edition of the Rapture Report will focus on the recent Israeli elections. After months of preparations and a short war with Hamas, the Israeli elections finally took place and exit polls reported the results were headed towards a photo finish between Kadima and Likud. Although the exit polls later placed Kadima to come out on top by a single seat, the right-wing groups headed by Likud (and Bibi Netanyahu) have been clearly the winner in this election. Kadima, headed by Tzipi Livni, is the currently the leader of the left-wing Israeli government and it looks like the days are numbered for Kadima as many political analysts report that there is not much of a chance of them forming a governing coalition. Afterall, it is Kadima and Livni's inability to form a governing coalition after the resignation of PM Ehud Olmert that prompted the elections yesterday. So, let's jump into the current news reports and see what is happening on the ground.

The Haaretz newspaper is currently reporting that with 99% of the votes in that Kadima is set to record 28 seats in the next Knesset. Likud on the other hand appears to be headed towards 27 seats. The article reports:

With 99 percent of the votes counted, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's Kadima Party is in first place with 28 of the Knesset's 120 seats, with Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party following closely behind with 27 seats. As the vote progresses, Labor stands at 13 seats, while Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beitenu party is expected to garner 15 seats. Exit polls by Israel's three main television stations on Tuesday night came to the same conclusion with Kadima as the leader and Likud coming a narrow second.

In the hours following the election both Kadima and Likud claimed "victory" in the voting. The Jerusalem Post newspaper reports:

In the hours after television exit polls predicted that Kadima would win the most Knesset seats in Tuesday's general elections, both Kadima chair and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu claimed that they would be the country's next prime minister. At Likud headquarters, activists dismissed Kadima's edge and predicted Netanyahu would be tapped to form the next government. Channel 10 quoted the Likud leader as saying "I will be the next prime minister of Israel." Also reacting to the polls, Likud MK Gideon Sa'ar said, "Netanyahu will succeed in building a coalition."

On the other hand, it was reported that Kadima also claimed "victory" in the voting:

At Kadima's election night headquarters, meanwhile, the crowd erupted in cheers when the results came out, with some supporters jumping up and down, giving each other high fives and hugs, and screaming and whistling in the air. Knesset speaker Dalia Itzik, who served as the head of Kadima's election campaign, applauded the results of exit polls, declaring that Livni "will be the next prime minister" of Israel.

Despite the claims of victory coming from both Kadima and Likud, the article goes on to explain that Israeli President Shimon Peres will ultimately decide who will get the first chance to form a coalition government. As mentioned earlier in the Rapture Report, the current elections are a result of Kadima and Livni's inability to form a governing coalition in the Knesset. Many Israeli political analysts have speculated that it would seem likely that Peres will give the first shot to Likud and Bibi in order to see if they can form a coalition government. However, the political analysts seem to be pointing out that the one who will likely play the real role of "kingmaker" will be Avigdor Lieberman of the Yisrael Beiteinu political group. Lieberman and Yisrael Beiteinu were able to place 3rd in the elctions and will have about 13-14 seats in the new Knesset. This fact makes the the support of Lieberman and Yisrael Beiteinu as being critical to either Likud or Kadima's hope of forming a coalition government. The next few weeks will be very interesting as the political puzzle pieces move around the board.

In the meantime, a PA official announced that neither Bibi nor Livni would be able to reach peace with the Palestinians. The Israel National News reported that:

Neither Binyamin Netanyahu nor Tzipi Livni will be able to make peace with the Palestinian Authority, PA negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Tuesday. "Regardless of the coalition formed by any Israeli prime minister, the next Israeli government will be unable to deliver the requirements of peace," Erekat stated after exit polls indicated that Kadima has a narrow edge of Likud in Tuesday's balloting. "If the new Israeli government continues to expand settlements, place roadblocks and obstruct a two-state solution, we have no option but to consider it a non-partner in peace," he added said. Meanwhile, Gaza terrorists attacked the Sderot area with a Kassam rocket shortly before polling stations closed at 10 p.m. No one was injured and no damage was reported. In Samaria, gunfire was aimed at a vehicle near the town of Beit El. No injuries or damage was reported, and security personnel found 17 bullet shells.

It appears that regardless of who eventually ends up forming the next coalition government, peace with the Palesitnians will likely still remain elusive as there appears to be no serious PA attempt towards a genuine peace with Israel. The likely scenario would seem to point to further conflict in the future, especially as it relates to the PA and Iran.

Please join with us and pray for the peace of Jerusalem as the political dust settles in Israel. The next few weeks will be critical as the next government is formed and a future path is charted on the "peace" talks. God bless.

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