Yesh Atid ecstatic to be second-biggest party

Party will be the second-largest party in the Knesset with an estimated 18-19 seats according to exit polls.

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid 370 (photo credit: Efrat Sa'ar)
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid 370
(photo credit: Efrat Sa'ar)
With the announcement that Yesh Atid would be the second-largest party in the Knesset with an estimated 18-19 seats according to exit polls, the party’s headquarters in Tel Aviv exploded in celebration Tuesday night.
The atmosphere was electric, with the Yesh Atid jingle booming from every direction and the Knesset members dancing with joy.
Adi Kol, No. 9 on the list, told The Jerusalem Post that Yesh Atid was “absolutely the source of the higher voter turnout” that was reported.
Karen Alharar, No. 10, said she was “surprised,” adding that “the surveys and campaign were up and down, but we were very successful.”
Alharar implied the party would join the next coalition, saying it would have a significant role in a future government.
“[We are] very powerful. We’re now the second-largest party in Israel,” she said.
Shimon Solomon, No. 12, said he was “very happy” but added that he and other candidates would have to wait for the “official results.” He also refused to say whether Yesh Atid would join the next coalition.
Anglo candidate Dov Lipman expressed shock that he was expected to enter the next Knesset at No.
17 on the party’s list.
“It’s overwhelming – the sense of responsibility to the country and to Anglos,” he told the Post. “We have great things to do.”
Earlier in the day, Yesh Atid Knesset candidates crisscrossed the country fighting for every vote they could garner.
At least 19 members of the party’s list personally stopped in cities or towns all over the country, with party leader Yair Lapid himself visiting several.
Lapid voted at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday at an elementary school in Ramat Aviv Gimmel, according to a release from the party.
After casting his ballot, he said that voting was “not just a democratic right, it is a democratic obligation,” and that voters should “vote for whomever you will vote for; the main thing is to go to vote.”
Lapid spent most of the morning campaigning in the North, in Haifa, Kiryat Motzkin, Kiryat Bialik and Hadera, before moving on to Netanya and later giving a speech to his supporters at 4 p.m. in Tel Aviv.
Rabbi Shai Piron, No. 2 on the party’s list, said he was “shocked about the volume of undecided voters” who voted for Yesh Atid.
“Voting for Yesh Atid is crossing sectors, and the momentum on the ground may make it possible for us to be the second- biggest party in Israel,” he said.
Herzliya Mayor Yael German, the party’s No. 3, said, “The Israeli middle class stands before a historic point” at which “the majority of taxpaying and army-serving Israelis will be represented by a party that will guard their interests.”
Before the exit polls were announced, Lipman told the Post outside a polling station in Modi’in that it had been “amazing to see the results of what you’ve done. People are so excited to see an Anglo candidate.”
He added that “today, more than at any other time of the campaign, people want to hear about me specifically, because I might get in.”
Until now, he emphasized, he had been hammering away with the party’s messages, such as equalizing the burden of army and national service. On that issue he got into a feisty debate with a haredi (ultra- Orthodox) supporter of Shas who was being paid to hand out materials for Likud.
“Lapid does not like haredim.
What can we get from him?” the man asked.
Lipman responded by talking about his son, who was both studying Torah and working, and quoted traditional Jewish sources supporting working for a living. He also questioned the man’s principles in standing by Shas and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, but being willing to get paid to hand out Likud materials.
Lipman also greeted and spoke to a few dozen voters in the course of an hour – including Modi’in Mayor Haim Bibas – before heading to another round of campaigning in Beit Shemesh. •