Elections Not Good For Netanyahu...

Steven LeBlanc

Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu was shocked at the results of the recent election, which gave it approximately 31 seats [votes are still being tallied]. In 2009, the two parties garnered 42 seats, their strength has diminished in the 120-seat Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem.

It is difficult for one party in Israel to get a parliamentary majority of more than 60 seats, so parties must rely on coalition-building. The question is how will Netanyahu coble together a coalition.

The Yesh Atid party, a new centrist party devoted to helping the middle class and halting military draft exemptions for ultra-Orthodox civilians, stunned the nation by placing second with at least 18 seats.

Danny Danon, a Likud party member expected to serve in the next Knesset, said domestic issues, played a large role in the campaign. The next government, he said, will reach out to Palestinians “but will also continue to make sure Israelis are strong and safe.” Israel doesn’t “want to see an al Qaeda state in our backyard,” Danon said.
He cited the situation in Gaza, where militants fire missiles into Israel despite the country’s departure from that Palestinian territory.

How will the election results impact Netanyahu’s approach to the Iranian threat? Clearly the election results reveal a shift toward domestic issues. Much depends upon the coalition that is to be formed between the political parties in Israel. We hope to have an updated blog within the next few days regarding the Israel/Iran situation, and a deeper analysis of the coalition possibilities.

But there is no question Netanyahu was weakened by the election results.

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