Thu. Jan 24, 2013 Israel News

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  • Coalition negotiations begin: Prime Minister Netanyahu meets with Yair Lapid
  • Final election results add one more mandate to Jewish Home Party and ensure Kadima’s entry into the Knesset
  • Another Israeli is nominated for an Oscar

Two days after elections for Israel’s 19th Knesset, after a final vote tally on Thursday which included IDF soldiers’ ballots, the right-wing Jewish Home Party gained a mandate, going up from 11 to 12 Knesset seats, while the United Arab List went down from 5 to 4 seats. The final count leaves the right-wing and religious bloc with 61 seats and the center-left bloc with 59. The Kadima Party barely made it into the Knesset with 2 seats.

As the vote count is completed, coalition negotiations are just beginning. On Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with There Is A Future Chairman Yair Lapid. The party founded by former TV anchorman Lapid was the surprise of the election, winning 19 seats and becoming the second largest party after Netanyahu’s Likud-Beitenu list. The two said they’d discussed the challenges facing the country and ways to deal with them, and agreed to meet again soon. Lapid has said he would demand a universal draft bill and a resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians as conditions for joining the coalition, yet came out against forming a bloc to prevent Netanyahu from forming a government.
Also on Thursday Netanyahu called Jewish Home Party Chairman Naftali Bennett to congratulate him on his achievement in winning 12 Knesset seats.

After receiving the official election results, President Shimon Peres will meet with party leaders next week before deciding who to task with forming the next government. Peres, who is attending the Davos Economic Forum, referred to the election results.

And finally: In addition to the two Israeli documentary films nominated for an Academy Award, another Israeli is up for an Oscar: Dror Mohar, the sound designer for Quentin Tarantino’s new movie, “Django Unchained,” one of the nominees for Best Motion Picture, which is also nominated in the category, “Achievement in Sound Editing.”

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