World Jewish News
98% of votes in: Bennett stays optimistic despite not earning Knesset seat
New Right leader Naftali Bennett continued to express hope on Wednesday morning that his party would cross the 3.25% election threshold.
In a statement to the press outside his home in Ra'anana, Bennett said: "In my entire life, I have given all I could to our good nation. I was always a soldier of the state, as a soldier in the General Reconnaissance Unit, as a hi-tech innovator, as the education minister and as a member of the security council.
"Now, the soldiers will decide where I continue to fight for them. What is definite is that I will never stop giving my all to the state."
The votes of the soldiers, prisoners and diplomats will continue to be counted until tomorrow afternoon.
Bezalel Smotrich, the Union of Right-Wing Parties' number two, told Channel 12 on Wednesday morning that he hopes Bennett and Ayelet Shaked's New Right Party will garner enough votes to pass the election threshold.
Despite voicing this, he criticized the two for separating from Bayit Yehudi and forming their own party, saying that "it was a mistake for them to do this."
Smotrich added that their move "put the right-wing bloc in danger."
URP received five seats in Tuesday's national election.
Meanwhile, New Right party officials have told several local news outlets that they are confident they will still receive enough votes to make it into the Knesset with four or five seats.
At this stage, the New Right still needs about 4,300 of the remaining votes. The votes of IDF soldiers, those hospitalized, diplomats and prisoners still need to be counted, which makes up some 200,000 votes.
BY GIL HOFFMAN, ILANIT CHERNICK