Middle East

Israeli voters on election result

Israel's voters have delivered a blow to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party.

Mr Netanyahu's Likud-Beitenu alliance lost a quarter of its seats in the Knesset, but remains the largest grouping. He has offered to work with the newly-formed Yesh Atid party, which shocked observers by coming second.

Here Israeli voters share their views on the results and the future of the country.

Nimi Gornstein, Haifa

As a secular 23-year-old Israeli I voted for Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid party.

Yesh Atid aims to tackle the issue of ultra-Orthodox Jews - saying they should not be exempt from military service and should share the social burden.

I think many people shifted their votes from Labour to the Yesh Atid in the last week because the Labour leader said Labour would not go into coalition with Netanyahu.

We realised that Netanyahu was going to be prime minister again and wanted to vote for a party that would form part of the government.

I believe most secular Jews are fairly happy with the results because they want to see a more moderate Israel.

We can now at least expect that the ministries held by Orthodox parties will go to Yesh Atid.

Throughout the past year I had a big fear that I wouldn't want to live in Israeli in the future because it might become so extremely religious and right-wing. But I think the election has proved that there is still a chance this won't happen.

Unfortunately I am not sure the new government will last long. Most of Likud has shifted to the right. Even if Netanyahu has common ground with [Yair] Lapid, I'm not sure members of his party do.

Ori Pomson, Jerusalem

I voted for Likud. I think the results are interesting. Likud did not get as many seats as they were expecting, but it seems that Netanyahu will be able to put together a coalition with the majority he needs.

I think that's a good thing because Netanyahu is the correct leader for the country. He has his priorities in the right order. He understands our current situation, unlike many others of the Israeli political community.

Netanyahu understands what the current Palestinian leadership wants - and that they are not a serious peace partner. They should not expect Israel to give further concessions.

I also believe that the prime minister's position on Iran is correct - he was right to draw a red line on the issue as he famously did in the UN.

I support his economic outlook, as he determined not to go on an irresponsible Greek-like spending spree.

I don't think that Netanyahu has been weakened by the election. Yes, his party has lost seats, but other parties on the right have secured seats.

At least when it comes to economics, I don't think the Yesh Atid party is that different to Likud. There is actually an opportunity for those parties to work together.

Yoav Susz, Tel Aviv

I was a Labour voter my whole life but during these elections I decided to vote for Meretz, which is a slightly more left-wing party.

I'm disappointed that Netanyahu will be prime minister again. But I was also pleasantly surprised that the results show 50% of Israelis are moderate and believe in peace.

This gives me optimism - because previously people had been saying that the Israeli left had died.

However, it is unfortunate that left-wing parties were not able to get together behind one candidate to challenge Mr Netanyahu properly.

I noticed that people were really interested and really involved in this election. I don't know a single person who didn't get out there and vote.

A lot of people were focused on social issues and the economy.

I think Netanyahu will be able to take various parties into the government who have been talking about social and economic issues. He may be able to make some progress in these areas.

For me, the most important issue is trying to find a lasting solution with our neighbours - the Palestinians.

That's what pushed me away from the Labour Party because the current leader was more focused on economic challenges. I'm not very optimistic we will be able to deal with the Palestinian issue as long as Netanyahu is the driving force behind the government.

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