File photo: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photograph:( AFP )
Political commentators dubbed it Netanyahu's 'oy gevalt' strategy, Yiddish slang for warnings of impending doom.
Barely pausing for breath in a last-gasp election-day pitch for votes, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed potential backers in live video election feeds on social media.
At times, according to real-time viewership data at the bottom of the screen, fewer than 400 people were watching, on a warm, sunny day when many Israelis were at the beach or shopping before the 10 pm (1900 GMT) close of polls after a close race.
נותרו שעתיים בלבד - חייבים לצאת להצביע מחל ולהביא חברים. שידור חירום: https://t.co/5Wkkz7sC9t— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) September 17, 2019
Sticking to the same campaign playbook for the past week, Netanyahu repeated a relentless message to supporters of his right-wing Likud party as if his political life depended on it, "Get out and vote."
The alternative, he said, claiming a strong turnout for left-leaning parties before any official statistics were in, would be a "disaster" - an end to his 10 consecutive years in power and a "leftist" government in charge.
Political commentators dubbed it Netanyahu's "oy gevalt" strategy, Yiddish slang for warnings of impending doom.
Watch: All you need to know about Israel elections
Dressed in dark suit and tie, Netanyahu, 69, sat at a desk, a map of the Middle East in the background, and made his appeal in a rapid and imploring cadence worthy of fast-talking, "infomercial" pitchmen.
As aides off-camera handed him cellular phones, he fielded calls from Likud activists across Israel, grasping the devices in one hand while holding up a prop - an oversized ballot emblazoned with his party's name - in the other.
"I am losing," he told one supporter as a caption went up giving the man's hometown as Nes Ziona, near Tel Aviv.
Then it was onto the next call.
"What's happening in Rosh Ha'ayin?" Netanyahu asked, mentioning the town where his strongest challenger, former armed Benny Gantz of the centrist Blue and White party, lives.
"Gantz's neighbourhood voted at 7 a.m.," Netanyahu, answering his own question, told the caller.