On the brink: Bennett Short a few thousand votes, soldiers votes may save him and make Arab party dip below threshold


With 97% of the vote counted Wednesday morning, the New Right party – founded by breakaway Jewish Home members Naftali Bennett, Ayelet Shaked, and Shuli Mualem – had received just 3.14% of all valid ballots cast.

As explained previously on GreaterLakewood, To enter the Knesset, a party must win 3.25% of the vote, equivalent to some 139,000 ballots in this year’s election, leaving the New Right roughly 12,000 votes short. With some 126,000 votes left to be counted, the New Right would have to win more than 9% of the remaining ballots, or three times its current share of the vote.

Some outlets have the lucky number at only 4300 votes.

Nevertheless, Bennett said he was still holding out hope that his faction would make it into the 21st Knesset.

“All of my life I did everything I could for this great nation. I was always a soldier for this country, as a combat soldier in the Sayeret Matkal, as a hi-tech entrepreneur, as Education Minister for the State of Israel…Now the soldiers will decided where I will go to continue to fight on their behalf. What is certain is that I will never stop giving my all for the State of Israel.”

The Arab Ra’am-Balad party is at 3.45%, but unlikely to garner many of the soldiers votes and could still fall out of the race.

Counting the soldiers and diplomats abroad’s votes is a slow task with officials having to make sure they did not vote on their bases and again at their homes and is expected to be completed by Wednesday afternoon.


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