Israelis are voting Tuesday, for the fourth time in two years, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seeks re-election after a record-breaking 12 consecutive years in office.
Netanyahu has refused to resign after being indicted for alleged bribery and fraud, which has divided the country into two polarizing sides. This has led Israel to hold elections more frequently than any other major democracy.
Netanyahu has denied the allegations. His trial on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust has already begun and is expected to resume in April.
It is predicted to be a tight race between Prime Minister Netanyahu, who is a member of the Likud party, and his opponents, according to the latest opinion polls.
Netanyahu’s rivals include Yair Lapid, a member of the Yesh Atid party, who has emerged as as the moderate candidate to Netanyahu.
“Vote, vote, vote, vote, vote,” Netanyahu said after casting his ballot in Jerusalem, Calling the occasion a “festival of democracy.”
Lapid said, “this the moment of truth for the state of Israel,” as he casted his vote in Tel Aviv.
Netanyahu hopes his coronavirus vaccine rollout will win him another term in office with Israel vaccinating its population faster than any other country.
Netanyahu is urging his supporters to vote, tweeting that there has been a low voter turnout.
“Low turnout in the South. Likudniks must go to the polls now. Take family and friends. Two more seats and we win and form a strong right-wing government,” Netanyahu wrote on Twitter Tuesday.
An official vote tally may be calculated by Wednesday.
Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy
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Videotapes from Jan. 6 Committee Witness Interviews Vanish
Videotapes containing witness interviews conducted by the Democrat-led January 6 congressional committee have disappeared. The chairman of the House Administration oversight subcommittee, Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.), expressed his apprehension on the “Just the News, No Noise” television show.
According to Loudermilk, all videotapes of depositions have vanished, raising questions about the preservation of crucial evidence. He argued that, under House rules, these tapes qualified as congressional evidence, especially since some clips were aired during hearings. Loudermilk contended that the tapes should have been preserved by the now-defunct Jan. 6 committee and its chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.).
Loudermilk’s revelation has broader implications, potentially impacting criminal trials in both state court in Georgia and federal court in Washington, where individuals, including former President Donald Trump, face charges related to the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, 2021. Notably, Trump’s legal team had recently requested evidence from the Jan. 6 committee but was denied by a judge.
The situation takes a further twist as Loudermilk disclosed that the J6 committee had sent certain evidence, such as transcripts, to the Biden White House and the Homeland Security Department. Shockingly, these transcripts have now been returned to Loudermilk’s GOP-led subcommittee almost entirely redacted, preventing the disclosure of their contents.
The lack of records regarding witnesses, their statements, and the extensive redactions have raised concerns among House Republicans. Loudermilk emphasized that these documents belong to the House and should not have been sent in such a heavily redacted form. The chairman questioned the motives behind the redactions, asking why a Democrat-run House was allowed to have unredacted documents while a Republican committee’s efforts were obstructed. This development adds another layer of complexity to the ongoing investigations into the events surrounding January 6, 2021.
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