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

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

"Assuming the immunity attempt fails, which I think it will, and assuming Mandelblit goes through with [indictments], which I think he will as well, there's the saga of, 'Will Netanyahu go to trial as a serving Prime Minister?'" says Pfeffer.

And as Saree Makdisi, a professor of English at UCLA, wrote in a Los Angeles Times op-ed on Thursday, Netanyahu's victory only cements the "apartheid reality" of what Israel has become under under the right-wing leader.

"The Union of Right Wing Parties (which won five seats) will no doubt demand ministerial positions, and seek to ensure Bibi keeps his commitments to the settler movement on lands occupied by Israel during the Six Days" War of 1967.

Netanyahu's vow to annex the West Bank-home to almost three million Palestinians-came just days before of Israel's election on Tuesday. Likud had 30 during the 20th Knesset, whilst the only party represented from the Blue and White alliance was Yesh Atid, with 11 Knesset members.

All of the right-wing and ultra-Orthodox parties have said they will recommend Netanyahu, with the exception of Yisrael Beytenu's Avigdor Liberman who has said he will not recommend Gantz but has not yet committed to naming Netanyahu.

Four top US Democratic lawmakers known for their support of Israel on Friday warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to annex the West Bank, amid signs President Donald Trump is ending Washington's longstanding push for a Palestinian state. The Trump administration has said it will unveil a Middle East peace plan after this election.

It was not clear what he meant.

The election was seen as a referendum on the veteran prime minister, who has built a reputation as guarantor of Israel's security and economic growth, but whose divisive right-wing populism and alleged corruption led to calls for change. The murder touched off a backlash against the right in Israel and against Netanyahu.




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.

Gantz's alliance, which conceded defeat on Wednesday night, however could not peel away enough right-wing votes to unseat Netanyahu.

The chosen politician then has 28 days to form a government but can ask for an extension of up to 14 days.

Netanyahu will likely have a few weeks to put together this coalition.

In the run-up to election day, Netanyahu highlighted what he said was the imperative for his Likud to be the largest party, claiming Rivlin would choose the head of the biggest party to assemble a government.

"We respect the decision of the people", Gantz said during a televised speech. An earlier count had the two parties deadlocked.

Netanyahu no doubt expects the U.S.to acquiesce to his announcement, on the eve of the vote, that Israel will annex parts of the West Bank as well.

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