The incumbent caretaker prime minister conceded defeat as former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu emerged from the national election as the leader of Israel’s most right-wing government ever. Several ultranationalist and religious parties supported Netanyahu’s Likud Party in the results, representing a solid majority in the Knesset. With the strong showing, Israel is poised to break free of the political gridlock that has paralyzed its government for almost three and a half years.
In a landslide victory, a right-wing coalition led by former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has secured most seats in the 120-seat Knesset, allowing him to regain power. It was announced on Thursday that Netanyahu and his ultranationalist allies won 64 of the 120 seats pic.twitter.com/3y5y40xYJ0
— Live News Now (@LiveNewsNow6) November 4, 2022
However, the plans for the new government to take office – which include overhauling the legal system and taking a hard line against the Palestinians – threaten to polarize the nation further and trigger the antagonism of Israel’s closest allies abroad. During Tuesday’s election, Israel held its fifth election since 2019, which was widely regarded as a referendum on the legitimacy of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was accused of corruption.
Netanyahu managed a disciplined campaign to overcome a divided and disorganized opposition, while the previous contests ended in a deadlock. In a telephone call shortly before the release of the results, the acting prime minister, Yair Lapid, admitted defeat and congratulated Netanyahu on his victory. According to Lapid, who told his staff, this would be done, and a transition of power should be organized.
Lapid Wish Success to Netanyahu
Regardless of any political consideration, the state of Israel comes first,” Lapid claimed. For the sake of the Israeli people and the Israeli state, I wish Benjamin Netanyahu success in his election. Netanyahu did not respond immediately. Israel’s 120-seat Knesset has been reduced to 64 seats after Netanyahu, along with his ultranationalist and ultraorthodox allies, captured 64 seats.
A small unaffiliated Arab faction, which was also part of the outgoing coalition, held 51 seats, while his opponents, led by Lapid, won 51 seats. The alliance will be formed in the coming weeks after Netanyahu completes negotiations with his partners. Moreover, the election was primarily driven by Jewish or democratic values meant to define the state. Voters ultimately chose to identify themselves as Jews.
Religion Zionism is likely to account for a significant portion of Netanyahu’s coalition, which includes Itamar Ben-Gvir, a far-right politician who has made a career out of confronting Palestinians and espousing anti-Arab views that were once confined to fringe groups. There will be three parties in parliament, with the party being the third largest.
Currently, in its 56th year, Israel’s occupation of the Palestinians has been indefinitely maintained by Ben-Gvir since he wishes to end Palestinian autonomy in the West Bank-occupied parts. Until recently, he displayed a photograph of a Jewish militant responsible for the murder of 29 Palestinians in a 1994 mosque shooting in the West Bank.
Who will become the Defense Ministry?
It has been reported that Ben-Gvir called Arab legislators “terrorists” and called for their deportation. During a visit to a tense Palestinian neighborhood in east Jerusalem, the far-right lawmaker brandished a pistol. He suggested taking over the country’s police force. Despite making anti-Arab remarks in the past, the party’s leader, Bezalel Smotrich, is aiming for the Defense Ministry. Thus, he would oversee the military and Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank.
There is a preference for aggressive settlement construction in the West Bank on the part of party officials. Several of their comments have been anti-LGBTQ in nature. It has been suggested that these statements may have caused antagonism among American Jews, who are, by and large, liberal. In addition, they may have placed Israel’s next government on a collision course with the Biden administration. White House officials stated on Thursday that they were pleased to work with Israel about our shared history and values.
Ned Price, a spokesman for the State Department, stated that the United States hopes Israel will continue to adhere to the characteristics of an open, democratic society, including tolerance and respect for all members of civil society, especially those from minority groups. The new government is unlikely to support a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians, which has little if any, support among Israelis and Palestinians.
Netanyahu Accepts Congratulations Messages
The new leader of the far-right party in Italy, Giorgia Meloni, congratulated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Twitter. She wrote, “We are ready to enhance our friendship and bilateral relationship to better overcome our common challenges.” Likewise, Viktor Orban, Hungary’s prime minister, congratulated Netanyahu, referring to him as a friend of the country.
Congratulations-Mazel Tov to @netanyahu for the electoral success. Ready to strengthen our friendship and our bilateral relations, to better face our common challenges.
— Giorgia Meloni (@GiorgiaMeloni) November 3, 2022
During the counting of the votes, Israeli-Palestinian violence flared, with at least four Palestinians reported killed in separate incidents and a police officer in Jerusalem’s Old City lightly wounded in a stabbing. Upon entering the government, Ben-Gvir promised to take a more aggressive stance toward Palestinian attackers. “We must restore security to the streets on a short-term basis,” he wrote on Twitter. I believe it is time for a terrorist who plans to attack to be wiped out!
Religious Zionism of Netanyahu will probably not cause him any headaches abroad, but it may give him some relief at home. A significant focus of the party is to enact changes to Israeli law that would suspend Netanyahu’s corruption trial and eliminate the charges against him. Their goals include weakening the judiciary’s independence and concentrating more power in lawmakers’ hands. An antagonistic media and a biased judicial system have orchestrated a witch hunt against him, Netanyahu says.