Avigdor Liberman voting.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Yisrael Beytenu seemed to be safely above the 3.25% electoral threshold, getting into the Knesset in three of four television stations’ exit polls Tuesday night.
Party leader Avigdor Liberman said throughout the election that his party would be passing the threshold, and was likely right, though many commentators thought his optimism was misplaced.
Liberman reportedly did not answer phone calls from Blue and White’s leaders immediately after exit polls were broadcast. He had said during the election campaign that he would recommend Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form the next government.
On Tuesday morning, Liberman warned that Netanyahu is campaigning against right-wing parties, comparing him to the boy who cried wolf in comments after voting in his hometown, Nokdim, in the West Bank.
“The right-wing bloc is winning by far. Netanyahu is trying to hurt the small right-wing parties in order to weaken them in coalition negotiations,” Liberman said.
Meanwhile, Yisrael Beytenu relied on one of its longtime campaign planks: Discrimination against Russian-speaking Israelis.
Number two on the Yisrael Beytenu list, MK Oded Forrer, posted a video on his Facebook page, which he said showed Shas activists at a polling place in Ramle harassing voters with statements like “Go back to Russia,” and “Go to an intersection,” implying that the woman is a prostitute.
“This proves exactly why we need a strong Yisrael Beytenu in the Knesset,” Forrer wrote. “We made sure to teach them to ‘love thy neighbor.’”
The party also had the usual litany of election-day complaints heard from many others. The party complained to the Central Elections Committee that there were no Yisrael Beytenu slips at polling places in Ashdod, and claimed the New Right had sent out text messages in Russian claiming that Yisrael Beytenu is falling below the electoral threshold.
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