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Israel election: Final results announced for election 2022

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF  Vote counting at the Knesset on November 3, 2022 (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM) Vote counting at the Knesset on November 3, 2022 (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
NOVEMBER 3, 2022 19:27

Election 2022: Final results announced with Netanyahu receiving 32 seats

Final election 2022 results. (photo credit: JERUSALEM POST STAFF)

The final election results were announced on Thursday evening:

Likud - 32

Yesh Atid - 24

Religious Zionist - 14

National Unity - 12

Shas - 11

UTJ - 7

Yisrael Beytenu - 6

Ra'am - 5 

Hadash-Ta'al - 5

Labor - 4

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NOVEMBER 3, 2022 18:36

Yair Lapid called Netanyahu to congratulate him on winning election

Breaking news (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)

Prime Minister Yair Lapid spoke with opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu and congratulated him on his victory in the elections on Thursday.

Lapid said he instructed all branches of the Prime Minister's Office to prepare an orderly transfer of power. "The State of Israel is above all political considerations. I wish Netanyahu success for the sake of the people of Israel and the State of Israel," said Lapid.

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NOVEMBER 3, 2022 17:21

Meretz officially out of the Knesset

Meretz leader Galon: "The election results are a disaster for Meretz, a disaster for the country, and yes, also a personal disaster for me." Meretz Leader Zehava Galon (photo credit: GILI YAARI/FLASH90)

Meretz will not be a member of Israel's 25th Knesset, according to data from the Central Election Committee after 99.5% of the votes from Tuesday's election were counted.

Meretz earned 3.14% of the seats, below the electoral threshold of 3.25%. It needed just 3,800 more votes to pass, and its approximately 151,000 votes will not count in the division of seats, leaving the bloc led by Likud leader MK Benjamin Netanyahu with 64 seats and the parties that oppose him with 56 seats.

"This is a very difficult moment for me, and for my friends in Meretz. The election results are a disaster for Meretz, a disaster for the country, and yes, also a personal disaster for me," Meretz Party leader Zehava Galon said in a video to her supporters after the announcement.

"A few days before the elections, when I already knew that the danger to Meretz was great and tangible, this exact nightmare crossed my mind. Of a Knesset without Meretz. 

"For this [reason] I did what I never thought I would do again. When I saw that Meretz was in danger I returned to the throes of politics - hoping to save Meretz and the entire bloc," Galon said.

 Meretz Party chairwoman Zehava Galon casts her vote at a voting station in Bnei Brak, during the Knesset Elections, on November 01, 2022. (credit: Roy Alima/Flash90) Meretz Party chairwoman Zehava Galon casts her vote at a voting station in Bnei Brak, during the Knesset Elections, on November 01, 2022. (credit: Roy Alima/Flash90)

"A few days before the elections, when I already knew that the danger to Meretz was great and tangible, this exact nightmare crossed my mind. Of a Knesset without Meretz."

Zehava Galon

She added that while she realized a few days before the election that her party was in danger, Prime Minister Yair Lapid "played with fire" and did not call on voters to support her.

"Not really a victory for the Right"

"The Right's victory, with its racist and oppressive partners - is not really a victory. There is an equal number of Israelis on one side and on the other, who believe in equality, human rights, ending the occupation and social justice.

"Because look at what is happening in all the countries in the world that are now going through a wave of neo-fascism. They are confronted by a great human spirit, which originates from the idea that all human beings are born equal. And no Kahanist, no fascist, no homophobic racist and chauvinist will extinguish this spirit," Galon said.

Labor party leader Merav Michaeli has yet to comment on the outcome of the elections. Her party will enter the Knesset with four seats, far less than the previous election, in which Labor won seven.

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NOVEMBER 3, 2022 16:12

Meretz officially out of government

Meretz officially dropped below the threshold and will not be in the new government.

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NOVEMBER 3, 2022 15:26

Continuity expected on Bennett-Lapid policies on Lebanon, Turkey - analysis

The next Israeli government is likely to continue the Lebanon maritime deal as well as keep the ties with Turkey. LIKUD PARTY head Benjamin Netanyahu, Oct. 3. (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)

The next government is likely to continue some of its predecessors’ key regional policies if Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu forms a coalition, as expected.

Netanyahu expressed sharp opposition to the Lebanon maritime demarcation agreement shortly before it was set to be signed, calling it “terms of surrender.”

However, when the deal was finalized last week, Netanyahu said that he will “behave as [he] did with the Oslo Accords.” When Netanyahu became prime minister in 1996, he fulfilled the previous government’s commitment that Israel would mostly withdraw from Hebron, following negotiations in which he demanded the Palestinians pledge to stop terrorism.

Netanyahu’s attitude towards the Oslo Accords as prime minister can be summed up in a statement he made at the time: “If they give, they will get; if they don’t give, they will not get.” Netanyahu repeated this call for reciprocity several times in his autobiography published last month, and as such, is likely to be his approach to the Lebanon agreement, as well.

US President Joe Biden provided Prime Minister Yair Lapid with a letter of guarantees over the weekend that would likely limit Netanyahu’s ability to change the deal. The letter backs up the Lebanon agreement and states that the US is committed to supporting the IDF and strengthening its ability to defend Israel, including against threats to its ships and energy assets.

 Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid seen at a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on June 19, 2022.  (credit: ALEX KOLOMOISKY/FLASH90) Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid seen at a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on June 19, 2022. (credit: ALEX KOLOMOISKY/FLASH90)

Lebanon’s caretaker prime minister Najib Mikati told Reuters on Wednesday that the US guarantees protect the maritime boundary deal.

Israel-Turkey relations under the Bennett-Lapid government

Israel-Turkey relations also flourished under the Bennett-Lapid government, after over a decade of languishing. Lapid met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara and the countries agreed to reinstate ambassadors, following close cooperation to foil an Iran-backed terrorist plot to abduct Israeli tourists in Istanbul.

Erdogan said on Wednesday that he "expect[s] to sustainably maintain our relations with Israel based on mutual respect for sensitivities and shared interests, no matter how the election turns out."

"As long as values are respected, I believe win-win diplomacy will benefit not only Türkiye and Israel but also the entire region," Erdogan stated.

The decline began soon after former prime minister Ehud Olmert met with Erdogan in 2008, and the IDF launched Operation Cast Lead two days later to stop Hamas from shooting missiles at Israeli civilians. Erdogan viewed the proximity of events as a betrayal.

However, relations reached their lowest point under Netanyahu’s premiership in 2010, in the wake of the Mavi Marmara raid, in which IDF commandos boarded a ship aiming to break the blockade on Gaza. In the ensuing hand-to-hand combat, the commandos killed nine armed activists from an organization affiliated with Erdogan.
 
Netanyahu eventually apologized to Erdogan, under pressure from Washington, but diplomatic relations never fully recovered. Ambassadors were reinstated in 2016, but less than two years later, Turkey expelled Israeli Ambassador Eitan Na’eh – now Israel’s envoy to Bahrain – in protest of the IDF’s response to Palestinian rioting on the Gaza border, and Israel responded in kind.

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NOVEMBER 3, 2022 14:27

95% of votes counted

95% of ballots from Tuesday's general election were counted by 13:39 p.m. on Thursday.

There were no changes in the distribution of Knesset seats to parties.

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NOVEMBER 3, 2022 13:29

Jewish organizations have their opinions on the Israel election results

In the election that just happened in Israel, many Jewish organizations decided to remain silent, while others expressed their concern. Itamar Ben-Gvir gestures following the announcement of exit polls in Israel's general election, at his party headquarters in Jerusalem November 1, 2022. (photo credit: REUTERS/CORINNA KERN)

Israeli-Diaspora relations are directly affected by the heads of the Jewish state and therefore, Diaspora Jews usually respond publicly to the outcome of the elections or the establishment of a new government. In the 2022 general election just held in Israel, however, many Jewish organizations decided to remain silent, while others criticized the possibility that Itamar Ben-Gvir, who ran with the far-right Religious Zionist Party (RZP) as leader of the extreme-right Otzma Yehudit Party, will join the coalition as a minister. Many umbrella Jewish organizations haven’t yet responded to the election results, such as the Board of Deputies in the UK, the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF) in France and the World Jewish Congress.

In a press release on behalf of the Union for Reform Judaism, Central Conference of American Rabbis and the American Conference of Cantors, the leadership of these organizations state that they “affirm Israel’s robust democracy, reflected in the more than 71% turnout for the fifth election in four years.” They stressed that they “love Israel,” and are “committed to the vision of Israel as a democratic, pluralistic Jewish state.” In addition, they congratulated Benjamin Netanyahu, who is expected to become prime minister for his sixth term - even though they have a very complex relationship with the likely next prime minister, who wouldn’t meet with them in the last years of his tenure.

“As Netanyahu assembles his coalition, we are profoundly concerned about promises of cabinet positions he has made to Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir, the leaders of the ultra-nationalist Religious Zionism Party,” the press release stated. “Their platforms and past actions indicate that they would curtail the authority of Israel’s Supreme Court and inhibit the rights of Israeli Arabs, Palestinians, members of the LGBTQ+ community and large segments of Jews who are non-Orthodox.”

These Reform leaders suggested that “including Ben-Gvir and Smotrich in the government will likely jeopardize Israel’s democracy and will force the country to reckon with its place on the world stage.” They added that this sort of government “will almost certainly lead to challenging moments in the US-Israel relations” and will “be painful for Jews worldwide who will not see the Israel they love and believe reflected in these leaders, nor in the policies they pursue.” 

Nevertheless, they stress that even though they will have issues with the expected right-wing government, their “commitment to Zionism is unwavering.” The leaders added that they will “take some comfort,” knowing that their colleague, Reform Rabbi and Labor MK Gilad Kariv, “will remain a strong voice for democracy and pluralism as a member of the Knesset” (Kariv is No. 3 on the list of the party, which won four seats).

 L: Otzma Yehudit leader MK Itamar Ben Gvir. R: Likud leader, former-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV) L: Otzma Yehudit leader MK Itamar Ben Gvir. R: Likud leader, former-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

They concluded their letter with a message to the upcoming government: “We look forward to working closely with those across the political spectrum who share a commitment to the fundamental ideals enshrined in the Israeli Declaration of Independence. Together with the Israeli Reform Movement, we will navigate the coming period with fortitude, rooted in our belief in Israel’s future as a peaceful, democratic homeland for the Jewish people, no matter how they choose to worship or believe, and a place in which all its citizens – Jewish and Arab alike – are respected and can thrive.”

What are the reactions from Jewish organizations?

T’RUAH (shofar sounding), a progressive left-wing rabbinic human rights organization that claims to represent over 2,300 rabbis and cantors in North America, was less diplomatic in its reaction, condemning what it calls “the mainstream acceptance of the terrorist organizations that Ben-Gvir and others represent,” and “cautioned what this change in government could mean for the lives and safety of Palestinians and Israelis alike.”

“With his record of hate speech and violence, coupled with his strong anti-Arab racist beliefs, MK Itamar Ben-Gvir has no place in the political mainstream,” the group’s CEO Rabbi Jill Jacobs said in a statement. “Although T’ruah has been sounding the alarm about Ben-Gvir and others in his party for years, there has been a remarkable lack of public concern among American Jewish organizations about his Religious Zionist slate, which traffics in racism and homophobia, advocates for the deportation of Palestinian citizens of Israel and incites violence against Palestinians and Israeli leftists.”

The American Jewish Committee also responded to the results of the election, but in a more subtle way. “Israel is a vibrant democracy that includes and represents tremendous diversity of thought, belief, ethnicity and faith. AJC’s advocacy will continue to strengthen Israel’s security and place in the world, enhance the deep bond between Israel and Diaspora Jewry, and be centered on the shared values that unite Israel, the United States and our democratic allies.”

Still, the committee stressed that “past statements of some potential members of the governing coalition raise serious concerns,” about issues the organization prioritizes, such as “pluralism, inclusion and increased opportunities for peace and normalization.” The AJC concluded by stating that, “regardless of the composition of any governing coalition, we will continue to work with those in the Israeli government and in Israeli society who are committed to advancing democracy, inclusion [and] peace, and to combating efforts to undermine these values.”

THE JEWISH Federations of North America, the largest umbrella organization of American Jewry, was probably the organization that responded to the elections in Israel most generally, without any criticism or fear for the future: “The Jewish Federations of North America respect and salute Israel’s vibrant democratic process, which allows all Israelis a voice and vote in forming their government. We look forward to working with the government selected by the Israeli people, as we always have, to support Jews around the world and strengthen the relationships between Israel, the North American Jewish community and our government leaders," a press release on behalf of JFNA said.

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council expressed its congratulations to Israel, saying that it hopes “Israel will soon have a stable majority government after four inconclusive election results over the last four years.

“AIJAC offers its congratulations to Netanyahu and wishes him all success as he begins the process of seeking to negotiate with potential coalition partners to obtain a Knesset majority and establishing a cabinet to govern Israel on behalf of all its citizens, as he pledged after the election,” Executive Director Dr. Colin Rubenstein said.

“One concerning issue in this election has been the apparent electoral success of far-right extremist Itamar Ben-Gvir and his party, running as part of the larger Religious Zionism list,” he said, however. “Ben-Gvir is a former disciple of the late Jewish racist, extremist Rabbi Meir Kahane – and while he has somewhat softened his anti-democratic and anti-Arab rhetoric in recent months, his rise is nonetheless genuinely worrisome for anyone who cares about the future of Israel’s vibrant democracy, multicultural society and liberal values.”

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) national president Morton A. Klein said in a statement that “It is wrong for the American and Israel Left to falsely call the Religious Zionism Party (RZP) ‘extreme,’ and that the Biden administration is even reportedly considering wrongfully refusing to work with democratically-elected Religious Zionism MK Itamar Ben-Gvir. Yet Biden works with Palestinian President [Mahmoud] Abbas, who pays Arabs to murder Jews; names schools, streets and sports teams after Jew-killers; calls Jews ‘filthy’; and says no Jew will be allowed in their state.” 

According to the right-wing group’s leader, “Ben-Gvir is now a 46-year-old civil rights attorney and repeatedly and clearly renounced certain views that he held when he was a teenager decades ago.”

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NOVEMBER 3, 2022 13:18

Breaking down the Israeli elections 

The Jerusalem Post Podcast with Yaakov Katz and Lahav Harkov. Head of the Likud party MK Benjamin Netanyahu addresses his supporters on the night of the Israeli elections, at the party headquarters in Jerusalem, November 2, 2022. (photo credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

Yaakov and Lahav talk to Herb Keinon and Eliav Breuer about the outcome of the elections. What will Netanyahu do? Has he changed? How will Ben-Gvir manage in the coalition? And what happened to Lapid?

Our podcast is available on Google Play, Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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NOVEMBER 3, 2022 12:38

Continuity expected on Bennett-Lapid policies on Lebanon, Turkey - analysis

The next Israeli government is likely to continue the Lebanon maritime deal as well as keep the ties with Turkey. LIKUD PARTY head Benjamin Netanyahu, Oct. 3. (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)

The next government is likely to continue some of its predecessors’ key regional policies if Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu forms a coalition, as expected.

Netanyahu expressed sharp opposition to the Lebanon maritime demarcation agreement shortly before it was set to be signed, calling it “terms of surrender.”

However, when the deal was finalized last week, Netanyahu said that he will “behave as [he] did with the Oslo Accords.” When Netanyahu became prime minister in 1996, he fulfilled the previous government’s commitment that Israel would mostly withdraw from Hebron, following negotiations in which he demanded the Palestinians pledge to stop terrorism.

Netanyahu’s attitude towards the Oslo Accords as prime minister can be summed up in a statement he made at the time: “If they give, they will get; if they don’t give, they will not get.” Netanyahu repeated this call for reciprocity several times in his autobiography published last month, and as such, is likely to be his approach to the Lebanon agreement, as well.

US President Joe Biden provided Prime Minister Yair Lapid with a letter of guarantees over the weekend that would likely limit Netanyahu’s ability to change the deal. The letter backs up the Lebanon agreement and states that the US is committed to supporting the IDF and strengthening its ability to defend Israel, including against threats to its ships and energy assets.

 Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid seen at a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on June 19, 2022.  (credit: ALEX KOLOMOISKY/FLASH90) Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid seen at a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on June 19, 2022. (credit: ALEX KOLOMOISKY/FLASH90)

Lebanon’s caretaker prime minister Najib Mikati told Reuters on Wednesday that the US guarantees protect the maritime boundary deal.

Israel-Turkey relations under the Bennett-Lapid government

Israel-Turkey relations also flourished under the Bennett-Lapid government, after over a decade of languishing. Lapid met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara and the countries agreed to reinstate ambassadors, following close cooperation to foil an Iran-backed terrorist plot to abduct Israeli tourists in Istanbul.

Erdogan said on Wednesday that he "expect[s] to sustainably maintain our relations with Israel based on mutual respect for sensitivities and shared interests, no matter how the election turns out."

"As long as values are respected, I believe win-win diplomacy will benefit not only Türkiye and Israel but also the entire region," Erdogan stated.

The decline began soon after former prime minister Ehud Olmert met with Erdogan in 2008, and the IDF launched Operation Cast Lead two days later to stop Hamas from shooting missiles at Israeli civilians. Erdogan viewed the proximity of events as a betrayal.

However, relations reached their lowest point under Netanyahu’s premiership in 2010, in the wake of the Mavi Marmara raid, in which IDF commandos boarded a ship aiming to break the blockade on Gaza. In the ensuing hand-to-hand combat, the commandos killed nine armed activists from an organization affiliated with Erdogan.
 
Netanyahu eventually apologized to Erdogan, under pressure from Washington, but diplomatic relations never fully recovered. Ambassadors were reinstated in 2016, but less than two years later, Turkey expelled Israeli Ambassador Eitan Na’eh – now Israel’s envoy to Bahrain – in protest of the IDF’s response to Palestinian rioting on the Gaza border, and Israel responded in kind.

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NOVEMBER 3, 2022 10:50

93.6% of vote counted

93.6% of ballots from Tuesday's general election were counted by 10:30 a.m. on Thursday.

There were no changes in the distribution of Knesset seats to parties.

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Voting facts


  • The electoral threshold is 3.25% of votes
  • 61 mandates are needed to form a government, which can be achieved through a coalition