After elections for the 22nd Knesset, Lieberman demands compromise on issues of religion and state as a precondition for coalition negotiations: “We will not give up on cancelling the Supermarket Law and enabling public transportation on the Sabbath.”

Wednesday morning, 18.9.2019  after 93% of the votes were tallied, Blue and White lead with 32 mandates to Likud’s 32.
The Right-wing, Ultra-orthodox block has 56 mandates while the Left-wing and arab parties have a total of 55. Lieberman’s party, Yisrael Beiteinu, has 9 mandates.
Furthermore, according to these partial results, the Joint list (the alliance of Arab-dominated parties) is expected to be the third biggest party with 13 mandates.
Yisrael Beiteinu has 9 mandates. Next in size are the Ultra-orthodox parties, Shas with 9 mandates and United Torah Judaism with 8. Yamina lead by Ayelet Shaked has 7 mandates. HaAvoda-Gesher has 6 mandates, The Democratic Camp has 5, and Otzma Yehudit did not pass the electoral threshold.
PM Benjamin Netanyahu spoke early Wednesday morning calling on Israelis to wait for the final results and promising to work towards forming a stable, Zionist government. He stated that after speaking with all of the Likuds partners and Right-wing parties, everyone, without exception, is committed to working together towards this goal. According to netanyahu, In the coming days, they will start negotiations for a strong, Zionist Government.
Benny Gantz, head of the Blue and White party, said in a speech Tuesday night that according to the current results, it appeared that once again the Israeli citizens had put their faith in Blue and White. He stated that upwards of one million citizens decided to say no to partisanship and incitement, and yes to unity. Gantz said that the party is working towards forming an inclusive unity government which is what a majority of Israelis want. Gantz expressed that they will work tirelessly in the coming days to put Israeli society back on track and do the people’s will.
Lieberman, head of the Yisrael Beiteinu party responded to Gantz’s speech stating that he was disappointed. He said that Gantz’s message was unclear and that they will not negotiate without clear commitments such as passing the law that regulates the military draft for the Ultra-orthodox and bringing a core curriculum to Ultra-orthodox schools. He also insisted on cancelling the “supermarket law” (which gives the minister of the interior control over what stores can be open on the sabbath rather than local municipalities), and enabling public transportation on the Sabbath as pre-conditions for negotiations.
In her speech, leader of the Yamina party, Ayelet Shaked, addressed the party’s split into two parties: The New Right led by Ayelet Shaked and The Jewish Home-National Union led by Rafi Peretz. This split was announced prior to the election and is due mainly to significant disagreements on issues of religion and state. One prominent example of this misalignment is the fact that Naftali Bennett, number two on the New Right’s list, opened the egalitarian section of the Kotel while Rafi Peretz and Bezalel Smotrich, numbers one and two on the Jewish Home-National Union list, are opposed to the egalitarian section’s existence. Shaked said that she thinks the parties should continue on together. She stated that the parties will continue to work together during negotiations and afterwards.
The head of the Democratic Camp, Nitzan Horowitz, said to party activists that whether The Democratic Camp is in the Coalition or Opposition, they will lead the battle for human rights, equality, freedom, social justice, and peace. He stated that in the next Knesset they will stand strong against religious extremism, annexation, and the destruction of Israeli democracy. He said that they will not allow for the destruction of the Zionist vision and will not let Israel to turn into Turkey. Horowitz said they intend to battle in the Parliament and in the street until they are successful.
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