Israel Election Updates / Ex-Shin Bet Chief Diskin Endorses Herzog: 'Couldn't Be Worse Than Netanyahu'

Four days to go until elections: Kahlon slams Bennett: I was part of nationalist camp before you knew what it was; Zionist Union maintains lead over Likud in final polls before election.

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A worker installs a campaign poster of Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a  billboard in Tel Aviv March 10, 2015.
A worker installs a campaign poster of Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a billboard in Tel Aviv March 10, 2015. Credit: Reuters
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Haaretz

Latest political summary: With four days to go before the general election, the Zionist Union is pulling 24 Knesset seats in the latest Haaretz poll, compared to 23 seats in the previous one, while Likud has lost two seats since the last survey, getting only 21. Read full story here

On Thursday, Netanyahu warned against splitting the vote on the right. "Whoever wants me as prime minister – which is the majority of the pubic – must vote for my party," he said in an interview. For Thursday's updates, click here

Latest opinion and analyses: A chance to end Netanyahu's rule (Editorial) | Why I’m voting Meretz and not for the Arab ticket (Salman Masalha) | Don't give Netanyahu another chance to prove his worthlessness (Yoel Marcus) | Netanyahu is panicking. Isn't democracy beautiful?( Nehemia Shtrasler)

Latest updates:

9:53 P.M. Netanyahu: Zionist Union election campaign is illegitimate

With only three days to go before the Knesset election, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the opposition Zionist Union of running an illegitimate election campaign in a Facebook post on Friday.

"Left-wing and media elements in Israel and abroad have conspired to bring [Zionist Union leaders Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni] to power illegitimately, by means of slander at home and unprecedented money from abroad," Netanyahu wrote. (Haaretz) Read full story here

8:12 P.M. New poll: Netanyahu's Likud down to 20 seats

A Channel 10 poll published on Friday, just four days before next week's Knesset election, has given only 20 seats to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party - the lowest the party has polled since the leadup to the vote.

Conducted by Prof. Camil Fuchs on behalf of the channel, the poll gives 24 seats to the Zionist Union of Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni.

In another poll published Friday evening by Channel 2, Likud got 22 seats, while Zionist Union got 26. (Haaretz) Read full story here

6:00 P.M. Israeli Druze leader rejects Walid Jumblatt's call for Israeli Druze to vote for Arab Joint List

The spiritual leader of Israel's Druze community, Sheikh Muafak Tarik, respectfully rejected Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt's call for Israeli Druze to vote for the Joint Arab list in Tuesday's election.

"The community respects and values the Druze leaders from around the world, but the Druze in Israel will determine their own views and positions based on their interests," Tarik said. "There are candidates for members of the Druze community in almost every political party - from the left and the right." (Jack Khoury)

5:43 P.M. Ex-Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin endorses Herzog: 'Couldn't be worse than Netanyahu'

Former Shin Bet security service chief Yuval Diskin endorsed Isaac Herzog for prime minister on Friday.

In a Facebook post, Diskin wrote that Herzog "couldn't be any worse than Netanyahu," adding that "of all his failures, Netanyahu caused the most strategic damage by harming Israel's relations with the U.S." (Haaretz) 

4:41 P.M. Kahlon responds to Bennett on nationalist credentials

Kulanu leader Moshe Kahlon launched a broadside at Habayit Hayehudi head Naftali Bennett on Friday, after the latter accused Kahlon of turning left and abandoning his nationalist principles.

Kahlon is a former Likud minister who left the party and politics before returning to compete in the current elections at the head of his Kulanu party.

"I was part of the nationalist camp before you even knew what it was," Kahlon responded on Facebook.

"The founders of the nationalist camp would be ashamed of you. The fact that I'm not weird like you and not from the hillside youth does not mean that I'm not from the nationalist camp," Kahlon wrote.

"You don't need to teach meFor the two years that you were economy minister, you sat, spoke nonsense and didn't do a thing, apart from issuing empty and worthless statements." (Haaretz) 

3:47 P.M. Zionist Union maintains lead over Likud in final polls before election

The latest election polls, published on Thursday and Friday, showed the Zionist Union of Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni maintaining its lead of between two and four seats over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party.

By law, no polls can be published after Friday. (Haaretz) Read full story here

8:15 A.M. Likud officials blame Netanyahu for poor poll results

Likud officials aren’t waiting for the election results. On Wednesday, following less than favorable polls, senior officials labeled the election campaign a failure, and blamed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the party’s poor showing in the polls ahead of Election Day on Tuesday.

“The Zionist Union will be larger than Likud after the election. This, it seems, is already a fact. The question is what the gap between the two will be. Even if we manage to form the next government, this campaign was a colossal failure. Netanyahu is primarily responsible,” said a senior Likud member. Jonathan Lis (Read full story here)

4:12 A.M. Economist calls Netanyahu a 'bad deal' for Israelis

The Economist urged Israeli voters to vote Benjamin Netanyahu out of office in an editorial, calling the Israeli prime minister devious, reckless, and brazen.

In the editorial, headlined "Bibi's a bad deal," the newspaper put its support behind Zionist Union's Isaac Herzog, saying that while he is not charismatic, he deserves a chance.

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