'Victory' for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seen as fraught with complexity
While set to serve third term, losses in parliament may make him embrace others outside party
While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies won the election, insuring him a third term as that nation's leader, he fared far worse in the parliamentary election this week. Analysts say that Netanyahu will have to embrace those outside his party if his policies have a chance of succeeding.
Benjamin Netanyahu's weak results marked a major setback for his policies. He may have to make new concessions to restart long-stalled peace talks with the Palestinians.
Netanyahu's weak results marked a major setback for his policies. He may have to make new concessions to restart long-stalled peace talks with the Palestinians.
The "hawkish" and "dovish" blocs in Israel were split about evenly in the polls.
Netanyahu's most likely partner was Yesh Atid, or There is a Future, a party headed by political newcomer Yair Lapid, who said he would only join a government committed to sweeping economic changes and a resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians.
Netanyahu in his first address said that he vowed to form as broad a coalition as possible. Among the promised changes are reforming the contentious system of granting draft exemptions to ultra-Orthodox Jewish men. He also promised the pursuit of a "genuine peace" with the Palestinians.
Netanyahu called Lapid and offered to work together. "We have the opportunity to do great things together," Netanyahu was quoted as saying.
Netanyahu could put together a shaky majority of 61 seats - but it would be virtually impossible to keep such a narrow coalition intact, though it was possible he could take an additional seat or two as numbers trickled in throughout the night.
Traditionally the dominant issue in Israeli politics, peacemaking with the Palestinians had been pushed aside. Netanyahu portrayed himself as the only candidate capable of leading Israel at a turbulent time.
Concessions to Lapid will seemingly alienate his religious allies. Lapid said he would not be a "fig leaf" for a hard-line, extremist agenda said in an interview last week.
Lapid's performance was the biggest surprise of the election. The one-time TV talk show host and son of a former Cabinet minister was poised to win 19 seats, giving him the second-largest faction in parliament.
A self-proclaimed defender of the middle class, Lapid vowed to take on Israel's high cost of living and to end the contentious system of subsidies and draft exemptions granted to ultra-Orthodox Jews while they pursue religious studies. He says that the expensive system has bred widespread resentment among the Israeli mainstream.
© 2013, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2013
General Intention: Victimized Children. That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.
Missionary Intention: Prepare the Savior's Coming. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Middle East News
- Free the Nuns of St. Thekla! Pope, Orthodox Leaders Urge Prayer for Kidnapped Nuns in Syria
- 'Tolerant' Muslims threaten holy war if Jews try to pray at site of ancient temple
- Embajador palestino en España se ofrece a cambio de liberación de doce religiosas en Siria
- HIV cases skyrocketing in Iran
- THIS OLD HOUSE: Amazing 10,000-year-old house uncovered in Israel
- Young girls and boys tortured and executed in Syrian civil war
- A VERY OLD TOAST! 3,700-year-old wine cellar found
- 5,000-year-old salt mines built by prehistoric men still in use today
- OOPS - OUR BAD! Syrian rebels mistakenly behead one of their own
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?