UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was standing at a polling station, said she was ready for change because “things have not improved.”
“I grew up under Bibi,” the prime minister’s favorite name, and “nothing improved,” Tamara told AFP.
But Benny Saville, 49, did not approve of Tamara at all. “Netanyahu is the best,” he said.
Netanyahu has been prime minister for nearly 13 years and will decide whether he will remain in office despite corruption allegations.
The former army chief of staff, Benny Gantz, is a significant opponent of the veteran prime minister, given his military record and his pledge to repair damage caused by Netanyahu’s policies.
Dozens of left and right parties are locked in the 120-seat parliament.
Hacohen is voting for the first time in her life and plans to vote in the Arnon neighborhood, where she lives in West Jerusalem.
She wore a blue-and-white Gantz shirt and urged reluctant voters to “elect Gantz.”
“My cousin, who is four years old, asked me, ‘If Netanyahu is accused of corruption, why should he remain prime minister?'” Said Tamara.
– Without support –
In Qalamoun, in western Jerusalem, the neighborhood of the middle class, nurse Marina Diashinka says she will also vote for the Gantz Alliance.
Marina came to vote with her two children and spoke of the high cost of living in Israel, a common concern in the country despite its economic growth.
Marina also spoke of “family shortages, funding and staff” at her workplace in the hospital.
“We do not get support from anywhere,” she said.
At another polling station in Jerusalem, Shahar Levinson, who arrived with his wife and three children, said he voted for Likud and wanted a “right-wing and capitalist” government.
“For me, security is one of the most important things.”
In the settlement of Yitzhar, banners of three parties were placed outside the polling station for the Likud, the “United Right” party and the Zehut party.
Accountant Benny Saville confirmed that he supports Netanyahu again as he did in the last elections in 2015 because he is “the best.”
But also said he considered Gantz “dangerous.”
Yishai Dror, a 28-year-old banker, voted for the Zehut party, which plans to legislate cannabis.
“We hope there will be an alliance between Likud and Zihut,” he said.
He expected the right bloc to be strong in the elections.
– “I pay taxes” –
In the occupied city of East Jerusalem, most of the population does not have Israeli citizenship, since Israel annexed the land without the population, and only gave them a resident ID. Therefore, they are not entitled to vote.
Israel has set up a polling station in the eastern part of the predominantly Palestinian town of Beit Safafa.
Beit Safafa was divided into two parts in 1948, the western part of the town in Israel, and the eastern part occupied by Israel in 1967.
Only a small number of voters entered the polling station, one of them Marwan Alian, 65, from the western part of the town with an Israeli nationality and a vote for the “Democratic and Arab Front for Change” list.
“I gave my voice to Ahmad al-Tibi,” one of the most popular members of the Arab-Israeli parliament.
Arabs in Israel are the descendants of the Palestinians who remained in their land after the establishment of the state in 1948, numbering 1.2 million people, or about 17.5 percent of the population.
They support the Palestinian cause but say they face flagrant discrimination.
Arab activists called for boycotting elections this year, but Aliyan said he wanted to show that “the Arabs are Palestinians despite all the challenges, they want to vote and prove their existence.”
He expressed the hope that Gantz would be able to beat Netanyahu and be open to Arab lawmakers who support the government.
As of 5 pm, only 23 percent of voters in the town voted.
In the Arab city of Taiba in central Israel, 42-year-old Fayza Yassin also challenged calls for boycott.
“I pay taxes to this country, so I have the right to vote and I want to use it today,” she said, “If we do not like someone, we should not boycott, but challenge him.”
Far from polling stations, the Israelis also enjoyed the holiday because the election day was a public holiday.
Many used the sunny spring weather to go to the sea or parks and set up family barbecues in the gardens.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for VOP from different countries around the world – edited and published by VOP staff in our newsroom.
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