Breaking Down Israeli Elections: Will Netanyahu Win?

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israelis like Americans two months ago are being bombarded by political ads, including messages with an edge for the young generation.

Instead of a two-party system, more than 30 jam Israel's political landscape. They compete for 120 seats in Israel's parliament.

Whoever wins the most seats must hammer together a coalition of 60 or more players to form the next government.

Like the United States, Israeli parties fall into the left or right. Dominating the right is the joint party of current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Avigdor Leiberman called Likud-Beiteinu. On the left of the spectrum is the Labor Party.

The potential spoiler of this campaign is Naftali Bennett and his Jewish Home Party. So far he's hurting Netanyahu by appealing to concerns the current prime minister may give up land to appease U.S. and European leaders.

Bennett recently explained his biblical view of the land of Israel to CBN News.

"You know we had a state in this very land 3,000 years ago, 2,000 years ago and now we have it again. That is profoundly important from a Jewish and biblical standpoint," he said.

The latest poll shows Netanyahu's party still leading with 34 seats, Labor with 21, and Bennett's Jewish Home Party at 15 seats.

But as many as 30 percent of Israelis say they're undecided.

"The Israeli voter is an emotional voter and he decides 'X' and then he goes on his way to the election and he may change his mind," Israeli Yaacov Peri said.

That is why Netanyahu could face trouble.  

"I think Labor now has a chance at getting a blocking bloc of 60, we would be able to tilt the whole balance of Israeli politics and we are not far away from that," Isaac Herzog, with the Labor Party, said.

The Likud party maintains the country needs to stay the course.

"Mr. Netanyahu needs, in my opinion needs, in the interest of the country to stay in the lead. We are facing very, very powerful challenges in the near future," Likud member Yitzhak Hanegbi, said.

It's likely Netanyahu will remain prime minister. But whoever leads Israel will face economic challenges at home, growing danger throughout the Middle East, and the often unwelcome presence of world opinion.

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CBN News
Chris Mitchell

Chris Mitchell

CBN News Middle East Bureau Chief

In a time where the world's attention is riveted on events in the Middle East, CBN viewers have come to appreciate Chris Mitchell's timely reports from this explosive region of the world. Mitchell brings a Biblical and prophetic perspective to these daily news events that shape our world.