Likud: Netanyahu’s claim of ‘election fraud’ were not like Trump’s

Netanyahu’s Likud Party clarifies that Netanyahu does not question the election results and totally supports the ‘peaceful transition of power.’

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

The Likud Party clarified Thursday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s comments about election fraud were taken out of context, and the long-time leader of Israel fully respects the peaceful transition of power expected next week when Naftali Bennett is due to take over leadership of the country.

“We are witnessing the worst election deception in the history of the state. People justifiably believe that they have been tricked,” Netanyahu said earlier in the week.

Critics had jumped on the statement and compared it to former President Donald Trump’s allegations of election fraud in the U.S., but the Likud dismissed those comparisons saying Netanyahu had full confidence in Israel’s electoral system.

“When PM Netanyahu speaks about ‘election fraud’ he isn’t referring to the vote counting process in Israel in which he has complete confidence. There is also no question about the peaceful transition of power,” the Likud Party said on its Twitter account.

“There always has been a peaceful transfer of power in Israel and there always will be. Contrary to the manner in which his statements have been distorted, PM Netanyahu is denouncing the fraudulent promises to voters made by Naftali Bennett, who is key to forming this government,” the party said.

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“Throughout the election, Bennett promised not to form a government with Yair Lapid and the left and not to create a coalition with the Ra’am party that represents Muslim Brotherhood ideology.”

The Likud pointed out that Bennett had publicly signed a commitment to his supporters and was videoed echoing those statements, noting that after the election “Bennett promptly violated each of these promises.”

“He formed a coalition with the left backed by the Ra’am party and signed a rotation deal that will make Lapid the prime minister in two years. In doing so, Bennett hijacked votes from the right and shifted them to the left in direct contradiction to his pledges,” the Likud said, concluding “if this isn’t fraud we don’t know what is.”

The only connection to the American election is that “Bennett’s actions are akin to U.S. electors unilaterally switching the voters’ choice for president against the will of the electorate,” the Likud claimed, adding that public opinion polls still show that most Israelis prefer Netanyahu as prime minister to any other candidate and most Israelis.

A vote on approving the new government is scheduled for Sunday afternoon in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. If the vote passes, Bennett, who heads the small right-wing Yemina party that has seven seats in the 120-seat house, will replace Netanyahu and become prime minister for the next two years.

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Under the coalition agreement Bennett signed with Lapid’s center-left Yest Atid party, should Bennett be able to keep the government in office that long he will then step aside and most likely become foreign minister as Lapid takes the reigns as prime minister for the final two years of the deal.