With Final Results Still Unclear, Netanyahu Tells Supporters He’s Won ‘Enormous Victory’
Tel Aviv, Israel — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a victory speech to his supporters in Tel Aviv early Wednesday morning, though the results of Tuesday’s general election still remain unclear.
Exit polls showed either a victory for the opposition Blue and White party or a tie between Blue and White and Netanyahu’s Likud party. The final results will likely not be known until later Wednesday morning.
Appearing confident that the bloc of right-wing parties will be large enough for him to form a government, Netanyahu recalled his first electoral victory in 1996 alongside his wife Sara, saying, “You remember that 23 years ago was the first time Sara and I stood here, and here we have returned to do the same thanks to you, for you, thank you all very much.”
“The people of Israel have given me a vote of confidence for the fifth time,” he said, according to Channel 13. “When have we received so many mandates? According to the majority of projections, the right-wing bloc led by the Likud will continue to lead the State of Israel for the next four years.”
“A long night is in front of us,” he warned his supporters, “we will wait for the final results.”
Nonetheless, Netanyahu told the audience, “Already tonight I began conversations with the heads of the right-wing parties, our natural partners, already tonight almost all have publicly stated that they will recommend me to our country’s president to form the next government. I intend to finish the work quickly with the goal of forming a stable nationalist government. This will be a government of the right.”
“But I intend to be the prime minister of all Israeli citizens,” he added, “left and right, Jews and non-Jews together. All Israeli citizens.”
“I’m very emotional tonight. This is a night of an enormous victory,” Netanyahu said before reciting the shehechiyanu prayer. “My friends, I tell you this from the depths of my heart — a great mission guides us, a great mission guides me. I work day and night in your names, for you, for our nation, for our people, for our land.”