Israel's Election Highlights Secular-religious Divide

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However, Netanyahu jumped the gun and met immediately with all the right-wing and ultra-orthodox parties, wrapping up an unprecedented accord that they will form a "bloc" that will recommend Bibi to the President. "The nation expects us, both of us, to show responsibility and act in cooperation".

Near-complete official results today confirmed a deadlock in Israel's general election this week, putting Benny Gantz's party as the largest but without an obvious path to form a majority coalition. "Therefore there is no choice but to form a broad unity government".

Netanyahu's stark admission came as the results threatened his status as the country's longest-serving prime minister while he faces possible corruption charges in the weeks ahead.

"Everyone will need to get off their high horse to prevent elections for the third time", Likud lawmaker David Bitan told Israeli Army Radio.

Gantz, a former army chief, tried to paint Netanyahu as divisive and scandal-plagued, offering himself as a calming influence and honest alternative.

Professor Dan Avnon, Chair of the Political Science Department at Hebrew University in Jerusalem said the election results showed that the majority of Israelis wanted a "stable, normal and functioning democracy". But he has said that he will only support a candidate who will commit to forming a government of Likud, Blue and White, and his Yisrael Beiteinu.

Rivlin has said he will do everything in his power to avoid such a costly scenario that would paralyse Israeli politics right into 2020.

If all this weren't complicated enough, neither Blue and White nor Liberman's party are keen on having religious parties that represent ultra-Orthodox Jews in a coalition government, believing those parties already exert too much control over Israeli social policy and the budget.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who must choose who will form the next government, welcomed Netanyahu's call for a unity coalition.

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It is still unclear at this time which coalition will be formed eventually and who will become the next Prime Minister of Israel.

Every so many years, most modern governments - especially those of developed countries, that is - hold elections in which prime ministers, presidents, and legislative body members are appointed to various positions of governance. His party appears to have won 33 seats, compared with 31 won by Mr Netanyahu's Likud.

Gantz, the leader of the Blue and White party, declared victory, arguing his party was on track to becoming the largest in the Knesset.

The political impasse left used defence minister Avigdor Lieberman, head of the far-correct Yisrael Beitenu celebration which has eight seats, as a doable king-maker within the coalition-building.

Gantz and Netanyahu ran campaigns with only narrow differences on major issues.

Gantz had not yet responded publicly, but he has repeatedly called for a unity government.

Benjamin Netanyahu's own cabinet ministers are coming under increasing pressure to overthrow the prime minister and clear the way for a national unity government following the Likud Party's poor performance in this week's election.

"If Netanyahu moves aside, we'll have a unity government", Lapid said. Although votes are still being counted, the likelihood of Mr Netanyahu continuing his ten-year tenure as Prime Minister looks slim. Netanyahu then led a campaign to change the law, despite the fact the Knesset had been dispersed, and all legal opinion stated that his proposed "Cameras Bill" should not be passed under the auspices of a temporary, transitional government.

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