Today the Jewish state decides the future of the Middle East. If hardliner Netanyahu wins, you’re looking at a safer Israel. If the left wins, due in part to the Obama administration’s undermining and meddling in foreign affairs, you will see an Israel giving concessions and inviting an Iranian surprise attack.
Israelis are voting in an election expected to be a close-fought battle between the centre left and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has ruled out a Palestinian state in a last-ditch appeal to the right.
The outcome of the race, in which opinion polls suggest Netanyahu will win fewer seats than the centre-left Zionist Union, is likely to help determine the prospects for new Middle East peace talks and Israel’s troubled relations with its US ally.
Around six million voters are eligible to take part in the election for Israel’s 120 members of parliament.
Polls close at 2000 GMT (0700 AEDT) with exit polls by Israel’s main media outlets set to give the first indications of the likely outcome minutes afterwards.
It will be Israel’s third election since 2009 and the biggest challenge yet for the 65-year-old incumbent, who is seeking a third consecutive term.
Final opinion polls published on Friday gave the Zionist Union of Labour leader Isaac Herzog a three to four seat lead over Netanyahu’s Likud party.
Netanyahu has warned a vote for the Zionist Union could endanger Israel’s security and lead to the division of Jerusalem and the establishment of a Palestinian state in the annexed eastern sector.
Full article: Israelis go to the polls (The Age)