Benjamin Netanyahu Wins Huge Electoral Victory to Become Israel’s Next Prime Minister

Just over a year after being voted out of office and facing trial on charges of “corruption,” former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is on the cusp of a stunning and overwhelming return to power. With 85% of the vote counted, Netanyahu and his political coalition are on track to win 65 of the 120 seats in Israel’s Knesset, curb stomping the leftist coalition who have misruled Israel and hopefully ending the political instability that has resulted in five elections since April 2019 (inclusive).

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The current makeup of the Knesset looks like this:

Likud —29 seats — Opposition — Center-Right

Yesh Atid — 17 seats — Ruling — Secular-Left

National Unity (Blue and White plus New Hope) 15 seats — Ruling — Socialist Left

Shas — 9 seats — Opposition — Religious, Conservative

Labor — 7 seats — Ruling — Social democracy

United Torah Judaism — 7 seats — Opposition — Religious, Conservative

Yisrael Beiteinu — 7 seats — Ruling — Nationalist, Secular, Russian-speakers’ interests

Religious Zionist — 6 seats — Opposition — Nationalist, Religious, Conservative

Meretz — 6 seats — Ruling — Ruling — Secular, Social democracy, Two-state solution

Hadas-Ta’al — 5 seats — Opposition — Secular, Israeli Arab interests, Secular

United Arab List (Ra’am) — 4 seats — Ruling — Israeli Arab interests, Conservative, Islamist

Jewish Home (Jewish Home plus Yamina) — 4 Seats — Opposition — Religious, Zionist, Orthodox interests

Balad — 1 Seat — Opposition — Arab nationalism, Anti-Zionism, Social democracy

The new Knesset will be divided as shown below.

 

What is interesting is the shift in the electorate. Shas, a religious party, gained three seats. The story of the night, though, is the Religious Zionist party. It went from being a minor member of the Yamina faction of Jewish Home to the third largest vote-getter.

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In previous elections, the left has been united by an anti-Bibi fervor that kept Israel’s largest party, Likud, in opposition. The voters, it seems, have had enough, turfing out the leftists in an election that produced the highest voter turnout since 2015 and the largest number of votes ever cast.

This election comes at a critical time for Israel and the Middle East. US intelligence (hahaha) agencies issued a warning yesterday that Iran was on the verge of launching a strike against US, Saudi Arabian, and other interests in the Middle East. Not only is Netanyahu solidly against Iranian adventurism, but his coalition is also much more hardcore on that issue than he is.

 

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