Benjamin Netanyahu will be Israel’s next Prime minister. In what is being labeled, at least by the press, as an ugly election, Netanyahu’s Likud Party (aligned with a few others) has secured enough seats in the government to guarantee his position.
The price of running a divisive and ugly personal campaign is that it leaves a stain, and makes it that much more difficult – though perhaps not impossible – to try to unite the country when it’s all over, as Netanyahu began trying to do in his early morning victory speech.
Netanyahu’s success comes against a wave of press support for Benny Gantz and the newly formed Blue and White party. Blue and White is itself, a coalition. A pluralistic party by it’s own admission. And it appears to have gained nearly or exactly as many seats in the Knesset.
Boos were heard for the press from the Likud Party crowd, when Netanyahu said (this victory) was an almost incomprehensible achievement against a press that was drafted in favor of his competition, Benny Gantz.
I’m just guessing but are the Israeli press on the same page with regard to Trump as the American press?
The price for orchestrating the merger between Bayit Yehudi and Otzmat Yehudit to form the United Right Party, is that this was seen by many both here and abroad as Netanyahu mainstreaming and making common cause with anti-Arab racists, something that does little good for Israel and its image. And the price of the Trump hug is that the US president will now expect a similar embrace in 2020 from Netanyahu, something that – if Netanyahu obliges – is likely to alienate half of the American public, and a majority of US Jews.
It’s only one observation so it is not conclusive but it is suggestive. Netanyahu is considered center-right. He’s chosen allies to his right to keep the job and form the government. The press seems to lean left just about everywhere. So, I guess they have to not like him.
And everyone seems to agree Trump’s nod to annex the Golan Heights helped Netanyahu.
The Times of Israel wasn’t exactly glowing either, though it did call the win decisive, followed by a litany of campaign tactic negatives.
Congratulations Prime Minister. You get four more years of dealing with the mess in the Middle East.