TEL AVIV -- This is an election as we saw in crowded polling places, that the Israelis cared a lot about. The turnout almost 72 percent, the most in more than a decade.
Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his chief opponent Isaac Herzog in a virtual tie, according to the exit polls, are busy wooing smaller parties to see who can craft a majority in the Israeli parliament.
Netanyahu battled to the end, issuing a last minute appeal to his supporters, claiming that Arab Israelis, who make up 20 percent of the population were being bused to polls by his opponents, a comment one Arab Israeli leader called racist.
But for the Elias family, the boys were wearing hats supporting Netanyahu. It worked.
"The Arabs will take over if Netanyahu is not elected," said Tavas Elias in Hebrew.
For one voter, the election was not about issues, it was personal.
Michal Keider is a widow. Her college sweetheart husband, Lt. Col. Dolev Keider, father of their three children was killed in the Gaza war last summer.
What's going to be in her mind when she votes?
"I always thought that life is the most important thing and now it's only like I have the hard evidence to prove my belief that war is not worth anything," she said.
She voted with Dolev on her mind and words not heard much in this campaign.
"Force only leads to more hate, and hate leads to more force and more bloodshed," she said. "So the only solution is peace."
Peace will be hard. Netanyahu is opposed to a Palestinian state. His chief opponent Herzog says he would support it and all the other parties have their own differing views. Not a lot of optimism on this front.