Re-election of Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud Party - Obama’s reaction

Re-election of Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud Party – Obama’s reaction

Question - President Obama has voiced criticism at the outcome of the recent elections in Israel. Discuss the re-election of Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud Party.

Re-election of PM Benjamin Netanyahu has drawn differing reactions from world leaders. While India’s PM Narendra Modi has congratulated the Israeli PM on his victory, US President Barack Obama has opposed it.

• Though Likud Party lacks a majority on its own, it has the right to form government in a coalition with other parties.

• It is established that Netanyahu will be PM for what is now the 4th term

• Netanyahu led a polarising campaign which aimed at: Denouncement of Israeli Arabs, Refusal to Accede statehood demand by the Palestinians.

• Right wing victory in Israel points to changing attitudes.

• The Joint List which constitutes the group of leftist and Arab parties is the third largest group with 12 seats in the Knesset

• Netanyahu’s victory has alienated the US which was unable to prevent the brutal attack in Gaza

• Right wing victory has been perceived as negative by the US which is currently battling ISIS

• Netanyahu’s victory is seen by analysts as creating tensions in West Asia

• US has also expressed support for the 2 state solution which has been rejected by Netanyahu

• UN resolution defining Palestinian state with pre-1967 borders is another deterrent for Netanyahu’s position on the demand for Palestinian statehood

• US’s negotiations with Iran will also be impacted by Netanyahu’s victory

• The strong pro-Israel lobby has supported the victory of the Likud Party

Facts and Stats

• Likud Party won nearly 30 of the 120 seats in the recent Israeli legislative elections

• Exit polls had predicted a better performance for the centrist-moderate coalition which is the Zionist Union including the Labour Party

• For what is the first time in the history of Israel, Arab parties had decided to unite and run for elections and parties on the Joint List include: Hadash, Baland

• Zionism and the two state solution has been rejected by parties in the Joint List
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