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Israelis ‘Exhausted’ From Elections but Most Still Plan To Vote (with VIDEO)
A forklift arranges ballot boxes at the headquarters of the Israel's Central Elections Committee, near the town of Shoham, ahead of the March 23, 2021 general elections. (Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images)

Israelis ‘Exhausted’ From Elections but Most Still Plan To Vote (with VIDEO)

Days before fourth election in two years, most say they are ‘fed up’ with political stalemate

Days before heading to polls for the fourth time in less than two years, many Israelis say they are “exhausted” by the political instability that has led to a seemingly endless cycle of elections.

Nevertheless, despite concerns that voter apathy could drive a lower turnout and lead to some unexpected results, several told The Media Line that no amount of political gridlock would stop them from voting.

“It’s important for whoever wants their voice to be heard to go vote,” Etty, a Jerusalem resident, said. “In my mind, there’s no question: I’ll go vote.”

She conceded that “people are exhausted and the elections cost money.”

“I’m not tired and I have to vote,” said Kfar Saba resident Gili Idan. “I’ve always voted for Netanyahu and will also vote for him this time because there is no one else who can lead this country except for him.”

It’s important for whoever wants their voice to be heard to go vote,” Etty, a Jerusalem resident, said. “In my mind there’s no question: I’ll go vote

According to a Channel 12 News poll released late Wednesday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party is poised to remain Israel’s largest, receiving 28 seats out of the 120 Knesset seats. Opposition leader Yair Lapid and his centrist Yesh Atid party is slated to come in second with 19 seats. The right-wing Yamina party, headed by Naftali Bennett, is in third place with 13 seats, while former Likud lawmaker Gideon Saar’s New Hope Party has fallen to fourth place and is predicted to receive 11 mandates.

So far there is no clear path to a majority coalition in the parliament for either bloc.

“I’m fed up already,” David, a resident of Jerusalem, told The Media Line. “None of them deserves my vote.”

He added: “They’re all the same: Just looking for power. I’m not going to vote this time.”

With the ongoing stalemate at the forefront of many people’s minds, some have decided to cast a strategic vote in the hopes of shifting the dynamic once and for all.

“I’m tired of this reality that the leadership has created,” Raphael Ohayon, who was shopping in Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda market, told The Media Line. “If our leaders don’t know how to lead, let them draw conclusions and go home.”

“Everyone can be replaced, including our government,” he said. “We can make fundamental changes to our situation, which has become intolerable.”

They’re all the same: Just looking for power. I’m not going to vote this time

Others, however, remain adamant that Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, has done an excellent job and is not to blame for the never-ending election cycle.

“Who brought 5 million [COVID-19] vaccines to Israel?” Nissim Levy, also shopping in the market, belted out. “Our prime minister! We should all be thanking you, Netanyahu, for you have healed the state of Israel! The jealousy and hatred brought against you won’t help them. We are with you!”

With polls currently showing no clear victor, most are certain that a fifth election is all but inevitable. In fact, only 29% of Israelis believe that these elections will resolve the situation, according to a survey published by the Israel Democracy Institute on Tuesday.

The March 23 election was called after the power-sharing government of the Likud and Blue and White parties failed to agree on a national budget in December.

 

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