Israel election – Netanyahu can probably form right wing government

Benjamin Netanyahu’s main challenger in the election in Israel has conceded defeat, with Netanyahu looking likly to be able to form a government regarded as right wing.

Reuters:  Israel’s Netanyahu wins re-election, main challenger concedes defeat

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu secured a clear path to re-election on Wednesday, with religious-rightist parties set to hand him a parliamentary majority and his main challenger conceding defeat.

With more than 99 percent of votes counted – ballots cast by soldiers at military bases will be tallied over the next two days – Netanyahu’s conservative Likud party looked likely to muster enough support to control 65 of the Knesset’s 120 seats and be named to head the next coalition government.

It would be Netanyahu’s record fifth term as premier.

In a televised statement, Yair Lapid, number two in the centrist Blue and White party led by former general Benny Gantz, said: “We didn’t win in this round. We will make Likud’s life hell in the opposition.”

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said on Twitter he would begin meeting next week with political parties that won parliamentary seats to hear who they support for prime minister.

At the sessions, which Rivlin said would be broadcast live “to ensure transparency”, he will then pick a party leader to try to form a coalition, giving the candidate 28 days to do so, with a two-week extension if needed.

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. He faces possible indictment in three graft cases, and has denied wrongdoing in all of them.

Despite that, Netanyahu gained four seats compared to his outgoing coalition government, according to a spreadsheet published by the Central Elections Committee of parties that garnered enough votes to enter the next parliament.

But Netanyahu  still faces some legal problems (that he may grant himself immunity from).

An indictment decision would follow a review hearing where Netanyahu can be expected to argue he should be spared in the national interest. Some analysts predict he may try to pass a law granting himself immunity, as a sitting leader, from trial.

Did Donald Trump ‘interfere’ in the election? He certainly tried to influence it.

During the campaign, Netanyahu sought to tap into Trump’s popularity among Israelis, who delighted in his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017 and transfer of the U.S. Embassy to the holy city last May from Tel Aviv.

Two weeks before the election, Trump signed a proclamation, with Netanyahu at his side at the White House, recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights captured from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war.

Trump has applauded Netanyahu’s electoral success.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who Netanyahu featured on campaign billboards to highlight their close relationship, phoned to congratulate him on his re-election, the Israeli leader said, adding that he thanked his American ally for “tremendous support for Israel”.

Trump told reporters at the White House that Netanyahu’s re-election improved the chances of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. “He’s been a great ally and he’s a friend. I’d like to congratulate him on a well-thought-out race.”

I guess that at least Trump’s assistance was out in the open – some of it anyway.

But this sort of direct involvement of the leader of one country in the election in another country  doesn’t look good to me.

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15 Comments

  1. David

     /  11th April 2019

    Did you know that Muslims make up 21% of the Israeli population and a similar percentage of the parliament, quite tolerant and not really getting any coverage in our media. Iran has a large Jewish population too but apparently no Jews live in Palestine.
    Netenyahou is not doing as well as his Palestinian adversary who has been in charge of the poverty ridden and aid dependent nation since 2005 and is apparently worth $100 million US, some interesting explanations on how he managed to accumulate that much wealth but suffice to say peace probably isnt as profitable.

    Reply
    • Dukeofurl

       /  11th April 2019

      Not 21% of parliament
      10 Mps from the two lists Hadash–Ta’al and Ra’am–Balad not all of them muslims,

      Thats around 5%
      maybe more Muslims would vote iif the Likud werent exposed as putting cameras illegally in polling booths some areas

      Not sure its even 21% of population of 9 mill, as that figure (21%)from a while back was ‘Arab’ which includes christian and druze

      Reply
  2. Duker

     /  11th April 2019

    Comment on kiwiblog from doctordoc

    A member of the King of Morocco’s cabinet Andre Azoulay is Jewish.

    Lebanon has several Christian political parties and its President must always be a Christian as per the constitution including the current President Michel Aoun.

    The current Speaker of Syria’s Parliament Hammouda Sabbagh is a Christian

    The current Deputy Prime Minister of Jordan Rajai Muasher is a Christian.

    Christians in Jordan are allocated 9 seats in the Jordanian parliament.

    Also although it is not an Arab state per se, the Iranian Parliament has a seat specifically set aside to represent the country’s tiny Jewish population

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  11th April 2019

      Interesting. Then why are Christian being killed in the Middle East?

      Reply
      • Kimbo

         /  11th April 2019

        In some/many cases the reason Protestants and Catholics were killed in the Troubles in Northern Ireland, or Catholics, Serbian Orthodox and Muslims during the break up of Yugoslavia – sectarianism. For example, it is a misnomer to view the primarily political conflict between Israel and the Palestinians (and foreign belligerents like Iran) as a religious Judaism vs Islam dispute. Religion is not absent but it is used by extremists to stir the existing pot.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  11th April 2019

          Yup.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  11th April 2019

            You could have agreed with me yesterday on that.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  11th April 2019

              I don’t recall you saying exactly that. And what it doesn’t say is their respective religious beliefs are inextricably linked to their claims to the same land, most strongly, the Jews’. Because their fictional God promised it to them.

            • Kimbo

               /  11th April 2019

              No, other than ultra-Orthodox Jews, most Zionists and/or Israelis are secular. It is a secular ideology grafted onto a community whose constituents are not necessarily religious, but they have a religious/cultural tradition. Sort of like the “Manifest Destiny” of the 19th Century spread of the American frontier, and similar claims for the British Empire, or the Afrikaaners.

              Hence rather than quote the promises Yahweh made to the Patriarchs in the Boook of Genesis for the real estate, many Zionists will cite more the historical cultural affinity Jews share with the land of Israel. Which is why they don’t demand, as per the requirements of the Torah, that the Jerusalem temple should be rebuilt. And why there is no official or popular plan to destroy the Al Aqsa Mosque which currently occupies the required site.

              Sure, some Orthodox Jews in the minority would love for that to occur, and even agitate for a neo-Davidic kingdom stretching to the Euphrates. But there are also Orthodox Jews who reject the modern state of Israel as a satanic fraud, as only the Messiah can call them back from Diaspora.

    • Kimbo

       /  11th April 2019

      Yes, saw that. Was above a post by srylands opining (incorrectly) that there would be no Jewish parliamentary representatives in Iran. Wrong, and that’s what happens when you assume according to media-manipulated prejudice. I’m sure Iran is hardly a liberal democracy and being Jewish (or Zoroastrian for that matter too) is politically, legally and socially difficult. But Iran’s opposition to Israel is due to Zionism (a secular political philosophy and ideology) not religion.

      Oh, yes, and before he was overthrown, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had significant Christian representation. His deputy and foreign minister, Tariq Aziz is an example. Seen as sort of honest brokers with no skin in the game in the on-going Sunni vs Shia dispute, I think.

      Reply
  3. Corky

     /  11th April 2019

    Mikey says, NO!! I say,YES!!

    Let’s get our shooters back..and get rid of a mischief of deadbeats in the process.

    ( For the intellectually challenged, this is not a threat, or a call to violence.It’s an opportunity)

    https://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/on-air/mike-hosking-breakfast/video/mikes-minute-nz-needs-to-learn-from-israels-mmp-disaster/

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  11th April 2019

      Israel isn’t MMP, but that’s a quibble as proportional parliament’s are very common. It’s hardly a disaster for Bibi, and some would say Israel’s circumstances are fairly unique , not like ours at all.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  11th April 2019

        If you drop the MMP threshold, guess what? Historically, Colin Graig would have been in parliament.

        Reply
  4. Tom Hunter

     /  11th April 2019

    But this sort of direct involvement of the leader of one country in the election in another country doesn’t look good to me.

    Is that so? How did it look in 2016 when Obama’s State Department did this:

    The Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations report about the State Department’s action, [showed that]…The State Department had funded a series of grants in 2013-2014, totaling $349,276, which went to the One Voice Movement, which has Israeli and Palestinian branches: One Voice Israel and One Voice Palestine. (The grant period ended in November 2014.) These groups support peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine, and a two-state solution based on the borders of 1967.

    Seems… ok but…

    Soon after the grant period ended [November 2014], however, OneVoice used the campaign infrastructure and resources built, in part, with State Department grants funds to support V15.

    “In service of V15, OneVoice deployed its social media platform, which more than doubled during the State Department grant period; used its database of voter contact information, including email addresses, which OVI expanded during the grant period; and enlisted its network of trained activists, many of whom were recruited or trained under the grant, to support and recruit for V15.”

    Clever. But Obama also sent Jeremy Bird over to “help” the effort. Bird was Obama’s National Field Director in his successful presidential campaigns of 2008 & 2012.

    As the Washington Post commented at the time, Obama’s offensive against Netanyahu backfires:

    Bird would not be working to defeat Netanyahu if he thought Obama opposed it. Can you imagine Karl Rove going to London while George W. Bush was in office to help conservatives oust Prime Minister Tony Blair? It further emerged that the group behind Bird’s anti-Netanyahu effort has received State Department funding and lists the State Department as a “partner” on its Web site.

    Perhaps this wasn’t reported on CNN?

    Rules for thee but not for me.

    Reply
  1. Israel election – Netanyahu can probably form right wing government — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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