How Israel’s Netanyahu Uses Fear and Loathing to Win Elections

15 April, 2019, 06:41 | Author: Trevor Moore
  • Benjamin Netanyahu

Trump, who has close ties with Netanyahu, praised Netanyahu's "apparent victory", saying that the White House's plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians has "a better chance now that Bibi (Netanyahu) has won". Netanyahu has led Israel for so long that people there and overseas have come to view him as the very face of Israeli politics-as inevitable.

The close and often vitriolic contest was widely seen in Israel as a referendum on Netanyahu's character and record in the face of corruption allegations. Voters blamed divisions between Arab factions which had united in the previous election, disillusionment, and a voting boycott campaign rooted in dismay at the 2018 "nation-state" law declaring that only Jews have the right of self-determination in Israel. Despite the fact that he was challenged hard by former Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and his Blue and White party, who emerged neck-and-neck with Netanyahu's centre-right Likud, the mathematics of Israel's proportional representation system allows for the formation of a right-wing coalition that will keep Netanyahu in power for another four years.

Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chairs Pramila Jayapal and Mark Pocan on Thursday denounced newly reelected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's vow to annex the occupied West bank as both immoral and a flagrant violation of global law. Strong, if not unquestioning, support of the Israeli prime minister has been a hallmark of the Trump administration. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

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. It added that the four legislators hoped "that any security measures are implemented within the context of preserving the eventual possibility of a two-state solution".

He also tweeted a picture of a Netanyahu supporter waving a Trump flag and telephoned the premier to offer congratulations. Trump moved the US embassy to Jerusalem last May, further angering Palestinians.

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When Gantz and his party conceded the election this week, they said they would fight Netanyahu in parliament and, one party leader said, "in 2020".

But even if he tries, it's unclear whether Netanyahu would have the votes to succeed.

"Regrettably", Ashrawia said, "Israelis overwhelmingly voted for candidates that are unequivocally committed to entrenching the status quo of oppression, occupation, annexation, and dispossession in Palestine and escalating the assault on Palestinian national and human rights".

But should Netanyahu proceed with his campaign promise and begin annexing the West Bank, he will undo much of the goodwill that has emerged between Israel and the Arab World of late.

Palestinians say the United States is far too biased in favor of Israel and they have refused to work with Trump's peace team since the U.S. backed Israel's claim to the city of Jerusalem and moved the U.S. Embassy there. We are talking about no less than 400 settlements (housing at least 400,000 settlers), all deemed illegal under worldwide law, as they violate the law of occupation.

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