Netanyahu has won, but still has everything to lose

Erika Holt
April 14, 2019

But Likud and its traditional Jewish ultra-Orthodox and nationalist allies were in command of a 65-55 majority in the Knesset, Israel's Parliament.

In a rare turn during the race towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Netanyahu further alarmed Palestinians by pledging to annex Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank if re-elected. Should the New Right party of Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked break in, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's comfortable parliamentary majority would grow even larger.

Hanan Ashrawia-a member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)-pointed to Netanyahu's annexation threat as one of many reasons to be alarmed by the prime minister's reelection and the victory of the Israeli right.

Mr. Netanyahu's campaign against Arab politicians, together with a new alliance with anti-Arab extremists and the passage a year ago of a contentious nation-state law, which enshrined Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people alone, deepened calls for an election boycott in Arab communities.

They leave President Reuven Rivlin, who must ask one of the candidates to form a government, with little choice but to pick Netanyahu. "Palestinian leadership has been unwilling to accept any reasonable peace proposal or even to negotiate seriously toward a solution".

Rivlin announced Wednesday that the talks will be broadcast live on various media "in the name of transparency" and for the first time, "in a historic and pioneering decision".

"We believe that it will lead to greater conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, severely undermine, if not entirely eradicate, the successful security coordination between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and galvanize efforts such as the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement that are meant to isolate and delegitimize Israel", said the letter released early Friday to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before.

Benny Gantz, leader of Blue and White party, and his wife Revital cast their ballots as Israelis began voting in a parliamentary election, at a polling station in Rosh Ha'ayin, Israel on April 9, 2019.

The statement signaled a warning from the party's most pro-Israel wing that retreating from the two-state solution would be catastrophic for efforts to maintain close ties between Democrats and Israel.

This pre-election promise from Netanyahu was widely seen as an attempt to draw right-wing votes rather than a change of policy.

Fighting for his political life, he spent the weeks ahead of the vote campaigning furiously to energise his right-wing base. And he won despite expectations that his own attorney general will indict him for alleged bribery and fraud.

Ahead of the election, Netanyahu had the support of nearly two-thirds of 18- to 24-year-olds and 54% of 25- to 34-year-olds, according to an institute survey, the Journal reported.

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