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Israeli elections fateful day for Mideast Peace




An Israeli ultra-orthodox Jewish man casts his ballot at a polling station in Bnei Brak, near the city of Tel Aviv, on March 17, 2015. Israelis are voting in a close-fought election pitting the centre left against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who ruled out a Palestinian state in a last-ditch appeal to the far-right.
An Israeli ultra-orthodox Jewish man casts his ballot at a polling station in Bnei Brak, near the city of Tel Aviv, on March 17, 2015. Israelis are voting in a close-fought election pitting the centre left against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who ruled out a Palestinian state in a last-ditch appeal to the far-right.
GIL COHEN MAGEN/AFP/Getty Images

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a last-ditch appeal for votes just hours before polling stations close in a tight election.

He says the gaps between his hawkish Likud party and the center-left opposition need to be narrowed. Yesterday, Netanyahu appealed to Likud hardliners by pledging that no Palestinian state would be established under his rule.

The Zionist Union party, led by Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni, is the leading challenger. Its platform includes resuming negotiations with Palestinians, boosting the domestic economy, and repairing ties with the White House. The Joint List, a coalition of Arab political parties, is expected to drive up chronically low voter turnout among Arabs living in Israel (also known as Palestinian Citizens of Israel).

Even if Likud loses, is there a chance Netanyahu would become part of a coalition? How has Washington reacted to Netanyahu’s statements on a Palestinian state?

With files from the Associated Press.

Guests: 

Neri Zilber, Visiting fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy a think tank described as advancing U.S. interests in the Middle East.

Yousef Munayyer, Executive Director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation - a coalition of organizations founded in 2002