PM rival Gantz congratulates Netanyahu after final results

PM rival Gantz congratulates Netanyahu after final results

And as Saree Makdisi, a professor of English at UCLA, wrote in a Los Angeles Times op-ed on Thursday, Netanyahu's victory only cements the "apartheid reality" of what Israel has become under under the right-wing leader. Analysts say he will want to guarantee his coalition partners stand by him regardless of whether the attorney general proceeds with plans to indict him on corruption charges in three criminal cases.

The results reflected his deft political skills, Israel's shift to the right and wide satisfaction with Netanyahu's achievements, but also the fact that many voters are fed up with him. Blue and White won 35 seats in the 120-seat Knesset, or parliament, against the 36 won by Likud. But, for now, there is no one who can "out-Bibi' the prime minister, on matters of security and domestic policy". If we add to this the failure to preserve the unity of the Joint List - which Arab-Israelis presented in 2015, and through which 13 Knesset members were elected, making it the third political force in the Knesset - and the splitting of the vote between two alliances - Hadash-Ta'al (which has secured six Knesset members) and Raam Balad (which has secured four) - further weakening their chances of defending their interests, the conclusion appears even clearer. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

Netanyahu has been premier for a total of more than 13 years.

Trump said in a tweet he congratulated Netanyahu on "a great and hard-fought win".

Trump almost always backs Netanyahu and has given him a series of wins: Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights, taking tough steps against Iran. Eliot Engel and Nita Lowey, both D-N.Y., Ted Deutch, D-Fla. and Brad Schneider, D-Ill., did not name Netanyahu, but alluded to his pledge that he would extend Israeli law to Jewish settlements in the West Bank - even those in remote areas that would diminish the prospects of a contiguous Palestinian state. Netanyahu defended the practice, saying cameras helped guarantee a "legitimate" vote. Trump moved the USA embassy to Jerusalem last May, further angering Palestinians.

Final results from this week's Israeli election published today left Benjamin Netanyahu on course to remain prime minister although there were reports of pressure on him not to form another narrow right-wing coalition.

But should Netanyahu proceed with his campaign promise and begin annexing the West Bank, he will undo much of the goodwill that has emerged between Israel and the Arab World of late.

When Gantz and his party conceded the election this week, they said they would fight Netanyahu in parliament and, one party leader said, "in 2020".

"He's been more of a status quo-maintenance politician for many years, now faced with some momentous decisions", Shapiro said. Japan has continued to identify its differences with the US on key Middle East issues, from Israel to Iran (it prefers engagement with Tehran to isolation, the Trump administration's default policy). We are talking about no less than 400 settlements (housing at least 400,000 settlers), all deemed illegal under worldwide law, as they violate the law of occupation.

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