Update: Barack Obama did not call Prime Minister Netanyahu to congratulate him. He had John Kerry make a quick call. He should have called personally because he is his peer, but Obama is a juvenile.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has won 54 seats over his opponent’s 44 seats, defeating Obama’s campaign team in Israel in a resounding victory.
The silence from the White House is deafening but the New York Times did seem to respond on their behalf: “At the White House, where there was no doubt some disappointment that Mr. Netanyahu did not get his comeuppance, the view was that the resentment over Mr. Netanyahu’s conduct would not influence future relations with Israel.”
Barack Obama treated the Israeli election as if he were running against Netanyahu.
Barack Obama’s former national campaign director, Jeremy Bird, has been campaigning in Israel in a U.S. taxpayer funded effort to defeat Netanyahu.
Congress is looking into Obama’s role in the Israeli elections which took place while he was refusing to meet with Netanyahu because he supposedly didn’t want to interfere with the Israeli elections.
They might not be able to find a smoking gun because money is fungible first of all and because Obama will claim he found out about it in the newspapers when we all did.
Netanyahu is opposed to Obama’s horrendous upcoming nuclear deal which both Iran and Obama are desperate to seal.
Netanyahu was behind going into the elections if one were to believe their polls.
The reaction in Israel is surprise. Netanyahu was trailing well behind his opponent Isaac Herzog last week. Even the exit polls were wrong in predicting a close election.
The crowd roared when the results came in.
Netanyahu will now form a coalition government, uniting the other right-wing parties. Once he has united them, he will become Prime Minister.
Netanyahu’s party won 30 seats and with the support of several nationalist parties, he now has 54 in a 120-seat parliament.. Herzog’s party won 24 seats and, including the Arab Muslim party, he won about 40.
That is considered a landslide victory for Netanyahu.
Netanyahu needs ten more seats to get control of the Knesset which he will do. The magic number is 60 seats.
It will be his fourth term and the longest any Prime Minister has served.
Author Daniel Greenfield does not see this as a win:
Netanyahu’s Likud got its big win because voters were alarmed enough to abandon Jewish Home, the alternative conservative party, which lost a lot of seats, not to mention Yachad, which failed to pass the electoral threshold.
Analysts talk about the center-right win when really the right was hollowed out all over again. That means that the momentum moves to the left.
While the left, in the US, in Europe and Israel, is able to impose radical change, the right plays to the center creating dissatisfaction among its base. When it gets its trouble, it suddenly runs back to its neglected base, which may save it, only to end up being sold out.
This isn’t a win. It’s a worse version of the status quo. Likud has either kept the same amount of seats it had, or lost a few seats, depending on the final count. Jewish Home lost a third of its seats. Labor/Hatnuah apparently picked up seats. So did the Arab parties.
The right is weaker and the left is stronger. But worse still, the right once again is tethered to the same broken system. It has no option except to support a party that doesn’t truly represent it. The left has rebuilt the Labor Party into an electoral force and built a united Muslim/Communist third party. Its fake parties have also done well.
I don’t know if he’s right, but it’s so much better than a Herzog win.