(April 9, 2019 / JNS) While the final results of Israel’s general election have not yet been tallied, Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz declared the election an “historic day” to party supporters in Tel Aviv and claimed that he will be Israel’s next prime minister.
“This is a historic day. More than a million people have chosen hope,” said Gantz. “Our nation and our society has chosen to unite, chosen to flee divisiveness.”
Gantz, who declared that he will be the next prime minister, said he plans to form a large coalition that will “represent the whole of Israel.”
“Yes, friends, I will be the prime minister of everyone—not just those who voted for me. No one from a party that is not ours should worry. We all need to think about how we can work together, how we can bring everyone into the discussion,” he said.
Earlier in the evening, Netanyahu also declared himself the victor, saying: “The right-wing bloc led by Likud won a clear victory. I thank the citizens of Israel for your trust. I will start assembling a right-wing government with our natural partners this very evening.”
Meanwhile, Labor Party leader Avi Gabbay expressed a “huge disappointment” in the results of the initial exit polls that show his party only gaining around six to eight seats.
“[Tonight is] not a simple one for us. It’s a very not easy night for me. This is not how I hoped the night would end,” Gabbay said, hinting that he may resign.
However, he added that he had spoken with Gantz and would support a Blue and White-led coalition.
According to the latest exit poll from Israel’s Channel 12, Gantz leads Netanyahu by four seats, 37-33.