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As Israelis head to polls, it's all about Netanyahu

By The News · 10 of April 2019 04:29:47
AP Photo, Benjamin Netanyahu, Benny Gantz, Moshe Yaalon, Yair Lapid,, No available, File - In this Wednesday, April 3, 2019 file photo, Israel Electric Corporation employee works next to election campaign billboards showing Israeli Prime Minister and head of the Likud party Benjamin Netanyahu, left, alongside the Blue and White party leaders, from left to right, Moshe Yaalon, Benny Gantz, Yair Lapid, in Tel Aviv. The long-serving Prime Minister Netanyahu is the favorite to win Israel's general election on April 9, but he faces serious corruption charges and a stiff challenge from a former military chief Gantz who has positioned himself as the country's savior. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s election on Tuesday boils down to a referendum on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has dominated the country’s politics for the better part of three decades.

Serious corruption charges seem to have had no effect on his supporters, who revere Netanyahu as a friend of powerful world leaders — chief among them Donald Trump — and guarantor of Israel’s security in a tough neighborhood.

The prime minister’s opponents say he is a corrupt politician who has divided the country by inciting against Arabs, who make up 20 percent of the population, and whose policies toward the Palestinians are leading Israel off a cliff.

The race appears too close to call in its final days, as Netanyahu faces a strong challenge from Benny Gantz, a popular former army chief.