Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu achieved a stupendous victory in the Israeli Parliament elections on Wednesday, poised to serve a record fourth term as PM.
Despite the critics’ analysis that Netanyahu would not be able to retain his position of nine years, his last minute talks gave him a boost in the polls. If he makes it through the full four-year term, his tenure would surpass that of Israel’s longest serving leader, the country’s founder David Ben-Gurion. Netanyahu’s Likud party won 30 out of the 120 seats in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, according to the reports while the rival Zionist Union under Isaac Herzog came next with 24 seats. The other four parties representing the Arab society that make up around 20 percent of 8 million population in the country, won 14 seats compared to 11 in the previous election. Despite trailing in opinion polls to Zionist Union alliance for weeks, his appeals to the right-wing voters changed the game bringing in support. Netahyahu had earlier made controversial speech to the US Congress warning of any deal with Iran on the nuclear program putting him at odds with the Obama administration. During the extensive election campaign, he had also declared that there would be no Palestinian state as long as he is in power. He also announced the expanding of the settlement construction in East Jerusalem, Palestine’s would-be capital. Netanyahu ignored the peace deals and agreements involving the world nations on the matter and continued to cling on to power.
The victory of Likud party has created anxiety as well as disappointment among the international community and is likely to split the nation on sectarian lines. The future of Palestine also looks bleak with Netanyahu’s stance of not permitting statehood to the region. The White House had expressed its “deep concern” about Netanyahu’s stance on the Palestinian issue and Netanyahu’s remarks on Iran’s nuclear program had angered the Obama administration. But the Israeli PM shrugged off the criticisms. The relations between the US and Israel has been intact despite all the major political disagreements and internal conflicts. Netahyahu pointed to the “unbreakable bond” between the US and Israel saying that both the nations had no greater ally than each other. Being a nation created and nurtured by America, the brutalities committed by Israel cannot be neglected by the US. The rest of the world have not been able to curb or put an end to the savageries the Zionist nation has been carrying out in Gaza and Ramallah and also the illegal activities under the name of settlement in Jerusalem and adjacent areas. It would be more hard to curb it once Netanyahu is in power. Palestinian chief negotiator with Israel, Saeb Erakat, said that constructive measures would only happen with the strong support and pressure from the world nations. As a response, the Palestinian leaders have decided to push harder to win recognition of statehood at the UN. The authorities would also file a complaint against Israel as soon as the nation gets a membership in the International Criminal Court in April. The region, in short, is likely to witness a political turmoil in the coming days.