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Netanyahu Convenes ‘Emergency Meeting’ over Reports of Low Voter Turnout

Israels Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu votes during Israel's parliamentary elections in Jerusalem, on April 9, 2019. - Israelis voted today in a high-stakes election that will decide whether to extend Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's long right-wing tenure despite corruption allegations or to replace him with an ex-military chief new to …
ARIEL SCHALIT/AFP/Getty
AARON KLEIN

TEL AVIV — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party has been sounding the alarm throughout the day here, warning voters that the party is on the brink of a potentially devastating election loss that would lead to the formation of a “left-wing” government.

While many pundits and opposition politicians here claim that Netanyahu’s dire projections are a gimmick designed to increase turnout, his Likud party in recent days has indeed been consistently running neck-and-neck with the Blue and White party headed by Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid.

Netanyahu’s campaign this afternoon said it held an “emergency meeting” at his official residence in Jerusalem to strategize on plans to increase voter turnout.

Netanyahu is far from alone in claiming an election collapse while warning voters against staying away from the polls.

“Do not believe any word that Netanyahu is now saying,” Lapid told the public. “The battle is close. If you do not get everyone out of the house now and send them to the ballot box, we will not win the elections.”

Gantz similarly claimed his party would lose if supporters didn’t flock to the polls.

The leftist Labor party, the religious United Torah Judaism party and the controversial Union of Right-Wing Parties all followed suit, blasting similar messages of pending doom.

“It’s clear that voter turnout among the Haredi community is low,” UTJ lawmaker Moshe Gafni exclaimed. “That’s disastrous when it comes to elections. Half the public hasn’t gone to vote, and it’s already getting late. That’s a terrible situation for us.”

“Don’t let them decimate the Labor party” Labor’s leader, Avi Gabbay, stated, referring to appeals to left-wing voters from Blue and White.  “Because then we’ll be left with right-wing parties and no Labor,” he added.

Rafi Peretz, leader of the Union of Right-Wing Parties, said that “internal polls we have show we’re in a bad situation. Religious Zionist could be erased from the political map.”

Political sources who have seen internal polls from three parties confirmed to Breitbart Jerusalem that Union of Right-Wing Parties and the New Right of Naftali Bennet are both not polling well.

Yisrael Beytenu headed by Avigdor Lieberman and Kulanu headed by Moshe Kahlon, both traditional Netanyahu allies, have each teetered on the brink of not crossing the threshold in numerous polls.

If two or more right-wing parties fail to enter the Knesset, Netanyahu’s ability to form the next government would be called into question even if his Likud Party becomes the number one party. That scenario could potentially see Likud form a unity coalition with Netanyahu’s rivals in the Blue and White party.

All parties, meanwhile, have been spooked by reports throughout the day today of low voter turnout. Israeli Arabs reportedly evidenced particularly low turnout, which may not portend well for Gantz’s Blue and White, which would need the support of Arab parties to form the next government.

Sources close to Zehut leader Moshe Feiglin were optimistic as the polls here draw to a close. Feiglin’s surge in the polls the past four weeks sent shockwaves across the Israeli political arena amid widespread speculation that his party could be the ultimate kingmaker in the formation of the next government, determining which Israeli leader will be able to cobble together enough seats to form a majority coalition in the 120-seat Knesset.

Speaking to this reporter last week, Feiglin said that he feels “there is an electricity in the air” and excitement about the possibility of his party scoring well.

Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

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