Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared victory early Wednesday as preliminary exit polls showed a near tie with his main rival.
With 99.5 percent of the ballots counted, the YNet news site reported that Mr. Netanyahu’s Likud Party had captured 29 or 30 of the 120 seats in Parliament, sweeping past his chief rival, the center-left Zionist Union alliance, which got 24 seats.
“Against all odds, we achieved this huge victory,” Netanyahu told cheering supporters. “Now we should form a strong and stable government that will be able to take care of the security, safety and welfare of each and every citizen of Israel.”
This despite that Arabs make up about 20% of Israel’s population. According to the early exit poll estimates, an Arab coalition ranked as the third largest party.
This should say much on why folks should not fully trust polls. Last pre-election polls published Friday, which showed the Zionist Union, led by Isaac Herzog, with a four- or five-seat lead and building momentum, and the Likud polling close to 20 seats.
The New York Times attributed the victory that to bridge the gap, Mr. Netanyahu embarked on a last-minute scorched-earth campaign, promising that no Palestinian state would be established as long as he remained in office.
These are assumptions, of course, but what no one can assume when it comes to Israel is this: God is always in control and He watches over Israel.