UPDATED AT 8:30AM ISRAEL TIME: (Central Israel) — The Israeli media was completely wrong.
The American pundits were wrong.
The Israeli newspaper polls were completely wrong.
The TV network exit polls were completely wrong.
The Obama team efforts to unseat an American ally were a complete failure.
Netanyahu wasn’t losing. He wasn’t about to be shipped off to retirement in disgrace.
This wasn’t close — this was a landslide.
Bibi’s blow out.
- A “crushing victory,” says the Times of Israel.
- A “sweeping victory,” says the Jerusalem Post.
- A “shock election victory,” says Ynet News.
- “Benjamin Netanyahu’s Lkud party is set to emerge as the election’s big winner,” says Haaretz.
It’s now 5:30am. The sun will soon be rising here, and as it does Israelis — and the world — will be awakening to a miracle.
With 95% of the actual votes counted, Netanyahu and his Likud Party have surged from 20 seats in the final newspaper polls to 29 actual seats in the next Knesset (parliament). That’s a five-seat lead over Isaac Herzog, Tzipi Livni and their Zionist Union opposition party.
Here are the latest results (as of 8:30am Israel time on Wednesday):
- Likud — 30 seats
- Zionist Union — 24 seats
- Joint Arab List — 14
- Yesh Atid — 11
- Kulanu — 10
- Bayit Yehudi — 8
- Shas — 7
- United Torah Judaism — 6
- Yisrael Beytenu — 6
- Meretz — 4
- Yachad — 0 (did not get enough votes to pass the minimum threshold)
Did Netanyahu’s speech to Congress convince Israelis he was most qualified to protect Israel from a dangerous Iran nuclear deal? Yes.
Did President Obama’s attacks against the Prime Minister backfire? Yes.
Did the millions and millions of dollars spent by foreigners to bring down Netanyahu completely fail? Yes.
It’s going to fascinating to watch the enemies of Netanyahu explain this away. I know several of Bibi’s top campaign operatives. They have done an absolutely outstanding job.
But in the end, a result like this cannot be fully explained in human terms.
This was a miracle.
Unexpected. Unexplainable. Unbelievable. But true.
“Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven; Daniel said, ‘Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him. It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings.” (Biblical Book of Daniel, chapter two, verses 19 through 21)