Netanyahu returns to power

Netanyahu returns to power

Although all the polls predicted a close fight, he achieved a comfortable majority (although the vote count was still ongoing) of 65 of the 120 seats in parliament, due to Israel’s electoral system, which penalizes parties that do not reach a required minimum of 3.25 percent Support.

This situation affected the Meretz (left) and Balad (Arabic) formations, which did not enter the legislature, which would have automatically conceded four seats to each.

This allowed Netanyahu’s far-right coalition to gain more seats as it won nearly 2,500 votes ahead of the rival coalition (with 89.9 percent of the votes counted), news outlet Walla found.

The reason for the gap is the electoral system and the great effort Netanyahu has put into organizing and unifying his bloc compared to the disarray in the field of interim Prime Minister Yair Lapid, who failed to make connections to get the votes maximize, the newspaper stressed.

The three trials against Netanyahu on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust did not prevent right-wing and conservative voters from supporting his Likud party or his coalition partners Religious Zionism, Shas and United Torah Judaism.

In fact, the election campaign was characterized by attitudes towards the 73-year-old politician, with two clearly defined blocs for or against whoever ruled the country for 15 years, 12 of them continuously.

Neither the Palestinian issue, nor the economy, security, or Iran’s nuclear program have managed to push the social polarization created by Netanyahu from the electoral agenda, whose actions have caused a serious political crisis in the country, reflected in five elections since April 2019 Has.

Adored by the most reactionary sectors and resented by the left, liberals and Arabs, Bibi, or King Bibi as he is known, is a hawk for his strong positions against the Palestinians and a supporter of a Jewish state to the detriment of the minority. Arabic.

During his long tenure, he was a strong advocate of expanding Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

After months of uncertainty, eight parties with different ideological leanings surprised experts and the public in June 2020 by agreeing on a minimum pact for forming and removing a government.

However, the deep disagreements on issues such as budget, education, economy or the resolution of the conflict with the Palestinians wore down the coalition, which remained in a parliamentary minority after the departure of several members, and forced it to hold new elections. . .

Though they fought to the end, the alliance led by Lapid failed in their goal: preventing Bibi’s return.

Hay Futuro, Lapid’s group, was the second most voted in the election, although this does not compensate for the electoral backlash.

Tuesday’s election was a debacle for the left and centre-left minority Arab parties, with the latter two represented by Meretz and Labour, respectively.

On the contrary, they confirmed the rise of the extreme right, embodied in the Religious Zionism formation, led by MPs Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben Gvir, who are conducting an outspoken anti-Arab and xenophobic discourse.

In the past few days, various media have warned of the danger of including Smotrich or Ben Gvir in a future cabinet because of their racist positions.

The latter has claimed the position of public security minister in recent days should Netanyahu win, who was willing to include him in his working team given the need for votes.