Benjamin Netanyahu Tweets He Won A "Great Victory"... Hours Before The Results Come Out
The election results are in, and it’s official — well, not really. But according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Twitter, he won reelection in Israel’s parliamentary election on Tuesday. Shortly after the polls closed, Netanyahu tweeted that he'd claimed a “great victory.” This tweet, however, is a bit hyperbolic and a lot premature. In reality, the exit polls show that Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party was, in fact, neck-and-neck with its main competition, the center-left party Zionist Union’s candidate, Isaac Herzog.
According to The Washington Post, exit surveys showed that Netanyahu won either 27 or 28 seats in the next parliament, whereas Herzog and his running mate, Tzipi Livni, won a forecasted 27 seats in parliament. In third place was a coalition of Arab parties, called the Join List.
So, with all of that information out on the table, Netanyahu’s victorious tweet maybe shouldn’t be quite so victorious. After all, some analysts are speculating that Netanyahu’s announcement might be a bit premature, as the final count could still fall in favor of Herzog, according to the Post. The new Israeli government may not be fully decided upon and formed for days or even weeks.
Moreover, even if Netanyahu’s party does win the most votes, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee that he will be the one leading a new governing coalition. Admittedly, Netanyahu does have an edge over Herzog. He likely stands a better chance at forming a coalition from Israel’s top 11 parties. The Post posits that the possibility even exists for Herzog and Netanyahu to work together to form a government that includes both parties.
But one glance at Netanyahu’s Twitter account and you’d think the whole thing was a done deal. This is what he tweeted out on Tuesday afternoon:
The opposing party’s only response to Netanyahu’s announcement was that it sounded a lot like “spin.” But, as VICE News’s Harriet Salem pointed out in a tweet, that comeback doesn’t exactly make it sound like the Zionist Union is too sure they stand a chance at proving Netanyahu’s tweet wrong.
If Salem’s assessment and Netanyahu’s declaration prove to be correct, this means that the promises Netanyahu has been making could come to fruition. For example, on Monday — the eve of the Israeli election — Netanyahu boosted his appeal to right-wing voters with his promise that, if reelected, he would never establish a Palestinian state,
The New York Times reports. This stance would further deteriorate Netanyahu’s already rocky relationship with the Obama administration, the Times says, and also increase European frustrations about the region’s slow-moving path to peace.
As of right now, it looks like we’re all in the exact same spot as the Zionist Union: we just have to sit back and wait for the news that will either confirm Netanyahu’s enthusiasm or crush it.
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