With 100% of the votes counted, the final election results are:
Likud – 30
Yesh Atid – 17
Shas – 9
Blue & White – 8
Yamina – 7
Yisrael Beitenu – 7
United Torah Judaism – 7
Labor – 7
Meretz – 6
New Hope – 6
Joint Arab List – 6
Religious Zionism – 6
Ra’am – 4
Yisrael Beitenu and New Hope have pledged not to join a Netanyahu led coalition. That leaves the right wing block of Likud, Shas, UTJ, Yamina and Religious Zionism with 59 seats. Even though the Arab party Ra’am has expressed potential willingness to join the coalition and give Netanyahu his ruling majority, The Religious Zionism party has said that will not sit in a government with them. That means Netanyahu must flip 2 MKs from a different party over to his side, which he has done before.
U.S. Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield announced Thursday that Washington will restore financial aid to the Palestinians, halted by former U.S. President Trump. She said that the U.S. will be sending $15 million to support vulnerable communities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with COVID-related issues.
She said, “President Biden is restoring U.S. assistance programs that support economic development and humanitarian aid for the Palestinian people. This urgent, necessary aid is one piece of our renewed commitment to the Palestinian people. The aid will help Palestinians in dire need, which will bring more stability and security to both Israelis and Palestinians alike. That’s consistent with our interests and our values, and it aligns with our efforts to stamp out the pandemic and food insecurity worldwide.”
She added, “the United States will continue to steadfastly stand by Israel, especially when it is unfairly singled out by one-sided resolutions and actions in international bodies.”
Turkish President Erdogan asked Kosovo’s Prime Minister to reconsider establishing an embassy in Jerusalem. Kosovo formally opened an embassy to Israel in Jerusalem last month.
Daylight savings time began in Israel today.
Passover begins Saturday night, commemorating our redemption from Egyptian bondage and the formation of a free Jewish nation. Israel will be on vacation next week, and so will this newsletter.