The political longevity of Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu is put to the test

The political longevity of Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu is put to the test

There have however been repeated warnings of the unreliability of polls in the past and the fact that many voters say they remain undecided. In the weeks leading up to the Israeli contest, Trump hosted Netanyahu at the White House and signed a proclamation recognizing the Golan Heights as part of Israel, overturning longstanding US policy. The Israeli public sees little hope in the long-standing global formula for peace - the "two-state solution".

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has dismissed the announcement by Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

'We must be able to transcend his current leadership to make sure that the alliance is strong, that we continue to push for and settle for nothing less than a two-state solution, because that is the best opportunity for peace for the people of Israel and the people of Palestine, ' O'Rourke said.

No single party in Israel has ever won a majority of seats in parliament; the country has always had coalition governments.

Frankly, whether or not President Donald Trump is able to cash in on this ugly turn in the mainstream of the Democratic party, it is probably high time Israel "transcend" its partisanship with the United States, give up those $3.8 billion in military aid that go to American companies anyway, and free itself from Democrats and Republicans alike.

Former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke suddenly slammed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the campaign trail over the weekend; labeling the staunch supporter of President Trump as an open "racist".

When asked why he had not already annexed some of the larger settlements, Mr Netanyahu said: "Who says that we won't do it? And we will impose sovereignty over the settlements in Judea and Samaria [West Bank]".

It also supports a "united" Jerusalem as Israel's capital, although Palestinians claim the east of the city as their future capital.

The main challenger to Netanyahu in Israel's elections on Sunday condemned the premier's deeply controversial pledge to annex West Bank settlements, calling it an "irresponsible" bid for votes.

However, his manifesto also calls for Israeli annexation of the entire occupied West Bank and for its forces to take control of the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount complex where the Al-Aqsa mosque, Dome of the Rock, and Western Wall are located. Polls indicate that he has the best chance to form a ruling coalition.

In March, President Trump broke with decades of global consensus by recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, territory Israel captured from Syria.

Despite the expected majority for right-wing factions in the 120-seat Knesset, Netanyahu has pointed to recent comments by President Reuven Rivlin pondering how to choose who should get the first shot at cobbling together a government.

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