Exit Polls Indicate Netanyahu Win; Jesus Christ, 5 Former Prime Ministers Top Greatest Israelis of All Time List
By Vittorio Hernandez | January 23, 2013 9:55 AM EST
Although the final results are not yet out, Tuesday's Parliamentary election in Israel indicate that current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to win another term. Exit polls showed that his party, Likud-Beitenu, got 31 out of the 120 Knesset seats.
Likud was followed by Yesh Alid, 19; Labour, 17; and Jewish Home, 12. The ultra-Orthodox parties of Shas and United Torah Judaism secured 12 and 6 seats, respectively, while HaTnuah and Meretz got 7 each.
Among the main Arab-Israeli parties, Hadash got 4 seats, Ram Tal and Balad won 2 seats each.
With another fresh round of electoral mandate, Mr Netanyahu said in a statement on Tuesday night, "I thank the citizens of Israel who voted for me again. According to the exit polls, it is clear that Israelis decided that they want me to continue serving as prime minister, and that I form as broad a government as possible."
It would be his third stint as prime minister, the first being from 1996 to 1999 and the second from 2009 to present. Mr Netanyahu, 63, is the country's first PM born in Israel after the state was founded. He is also the concurrent health, pensioners' affairs and economic strategy minister.
Despite the continued deadlock in peace efforts with the Palestinians and more run-ins with the international community during Mr Netanyahu's second term, he is widely seen as the person best suited to lead Israel during a turbulent time. His party's poll victory is due mainly to the key message that the country needs a tough and experienced leader to face the dangers such as the Iranian nuclear programme, loose chemical weapons in Syria and rise of fundamentalist Islam in Egypt and other Arab nations.
Meanwhile, a Messiah and five former prime ministers topped a recent poll of the 10 Greatest Israelis of All Time.
Jesus Christ, founder of the Christian faith, expectedly topped the survey made by The Top Tens Web site.
Sharing the top 10 slot with Jesus are five former PMs, namely: David Ben-Gurion on 2nd spot, Yitzhak Rabin on 3rd, Menachem Begin on 5th, Ariel Sharon on 6th and Shimon Peres on 9th.
The four others in the list are Ehud Manor, songwriter; Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut; Naomi Shemer, the First Lady of Israeli Song; and Rehavam Ze'evi, a general and politician.
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