The results of Israel's exit polls, which are not final but often provide an accurate indication of ultimate election results, confirm the darkest predictions for today’s election.
The Israeli right, including the extremist ultra-nationalist religious right, has significantly increased its power. According to the initial polling results, Benjamin Netanyahu – if he elects to do so – seems poised to form a right-religious narrow coalition.
If it materializes, such a coalition would have horrendous implications. Hopes for progress toward Israeli-Palestinian peace would be dashed. Anti-peace policies would be more than likely. Along with a threat to security and stability, Israel’s relations with its allies, including with the United States, would suffer a deep crisis. Estrangement and alienation among American Jews would reach unprecedented levels. Domestically, such a coalition, headed by a prime minister who is currently in court, indicted on three serious corruption charges, would threaten Israel’s legal system and rule of law, as well as its democratic norms.
We still hope that this nightmare scenario would not materialize.
APN’s President and CEO Hadar Susskind said: “For anyone who cares about Israel, about its democracy, about peace and a better future, today’s initial election results are a cause for deep concern. For those of us who strive to find peace and justice for Israelis and Palestinians alike, this is a moment of painful reflection. But we will not give in. We will continue to strive for that better future and for an Israel that lives up to the ideals of its founding. We will continue the fight against racism and hatred and for hope.”