Israel Audio Analysis: What Netanyahu’s Victory Means at Home…and Abroad


On Wednesday morning, I spoke with Pat Kenny of Dublin NewsTalk for 15 minutes about the significance of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s victory in Knesset elections means not only within Israel but in the international arena.

Listen from 10:38

See also Israel Daily: Netanyahu Claims Victory in Knesset Elections

Take-away points:

1. The surprise margin of the win for Netanyahu’s Likud Party is a short-term boost within Israel, given the divided opinion over the Prime Minister on economic and political issues as well as his approach to international issues.

2. Paradoxically, the next Netanyahu coalition is likely to put Israel in a worse position abroad, with the Prime Minister struggling to get support. He is unlikely to shake the nuclear talks with Iran if they near an agreement, and he may have put himself in a corner with last week’s declaration that he will never accept a Palestinian state.

3. Difficult relations between the Netanyahu Government and the Obama Administration is a given. What is more interesting is that concern among Israeli military and intelligence communities over the US-Israel relationship may lead into continued attempts to challenge the Prime Minister’s position.

4. For all the headlines about Iran and Palestine, in the end Netanyahu may face the music — possibly soon — over the domestic issues that motivated many Israeli voters, such as the rising cost of living and the shortage of affordable housing.

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  1. I blame (as always) our neighbors and the international community for the resurrection of Netanyahu.

    Many in the Right are critical of his domestic / economic / social policies, but feel that they have no choice but to support him in the international arena.

  2. A country of extremists needs an extreme leader I guess. So the ‘right’ man won I guess!!

    Every country gets the leader they deserve and unfortunatly not one country in the Middle-East including Israel seems to deserve anything more than they have now. Dictators, terrorists and criminals is all they get.

    • Did those other leaders overtly support Romney in the last US Presidential election and give a speech to US congress specifically meant to embarrass Obama? Not surprised though that some neocon rag would be outraged that Obama doesn’t bow and scrape before Israel like they do.

  3. Netanyahu the mythbuster: ‘Special relationship’ no more
    By Ramzy Baroud, Middle East Eye


    Imagine if an American presidential candidate made a plea to his supporters on election day with the following statement: “The Republican administration is in danger. Black voters are going en masse to the polls. Liberal NGOs are bringing them on buses.”

    Even in a country where Chris Matthews is a media celebrity and Pamela Geller is an intellectual, the statement would be scandalous, a political death wish even. In Israel, however, the opposite is true.

    In a message delivered in a video on Facebook, incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a sinister call appealing to ingrained racism in Israeli society:

    “The right-wing government is in danger. Arab voters are going en masse to the polls. Left-wing NGOs are bringing them on buses.”

    … Netanyahu deviated from an unwritten script that sustained the Washington-Tel Aviv alliance for decades and has served as the central discourse to the so-called peace process. According to that script, Israel is allowed to virtually do as it pleases in Palestine as long as it adheres to a strict, agreed upon narrative.

    But in his hunger for power and in line with his unquenchable arrogance, Netanyahu violated the code. For Washington, a red line is being frequently crossed and it is becoming increasingly difficult for Washington to maintain a special relationship with Israel, which, under Netanyahu is paying no heed to the foreign policy interests of the United States.

    Much more:

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