To spur supporters, left and right claim other side is streaming to polls

“Gantz and Lapid will be sitting here tomorrow,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned.

By World Israel News Staff 

The election day war of spin and scare tactics was swirling out of control on Tuesday afternoon as both the right and left were frantically urging their supporters to shun complacency and get to the polls so that the other side does not win the opportunity to gain a majority in the next Knesset.

“Gantz and Lapid will be sitting here tomorrow,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Facebook as he sat in the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem with some confidants and an American adviser, who were all warning of “indifference” and low voter turnout in various locations where Netanyahu’s Likud party should be doing well, they said.

In his warning, the premier was referring to Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid, the top two candidates on the Blue and White list, the Likud’s top challenger, which has been running neck-and-neck with Netanyahu’s party in public opinion polls.

Netanyahu said that victory would allow him to move ahead with President Donald Trump in countering Iran and advancing a binational security alliance.

On the other hand, Blue and White’s number three candidate Moshe Ya’alon took to social media to warn that if supporters of his list did not come out in greater force, the result would be the continuation of a coalition of religious coercion instead of secular liberalism.

On the left of the political spectrum, there was concern over a reported low turnout in such cosmopolitan locations as Tel Aviv. On the right, the alarm was over sparse participation, they said, in the southern city of Beer Sheva and some other smaller cities south of Tel Aviv.

In Jerusalem, the Orthodox religious turnout was reported brisk but among secular voters, fewer residents of the Israeli capital had been exercising their democratic duty.

Nationwide, the Central Elections Committee reported that during the first several hours of voting, the turnout was higher than it had been at the same time of day in the previous Knesset election, in April.

Polls opened at 7 am. With the close of voting at 10 pm, exit poll results will be announced, with the real tallies coming in during the hours afterward.