Netanyahu set for fifth term

Following parliamentary elections in Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu's conservative Likud party and its right-wing and religious coalition partners have won a majority of seats in the Knesset, prevailing against challenger Benny Gantz's centrist Blue and White alliance. The Israeli prime minister is facing charges in three cases of corruption, however. Commentators explain Netanyahu's latest election victory.

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Kristeligt Dagblad (DK) /

Opposition lacks a concrete programme

Kristeligt Dagblad explains why Netanyahu won the vote:

“Benny Gantz's opposition alliance Blue and White blindly focused on toppling Netanyahu rather than offering a concrete political programme for right-wing voters. The latter are more interested in living in a safe, stable and prosperous Jewish state than being governed by a morally impeachable prime minister. ... The prime minister must ensure that it doesn't come to a major war that costs Israeli lives. And in this area with his lightning war in the Gaza Strip, his wall on the West Bank that has drastically reduced the number of terrorist attacks, his efforts to ensure closer ties with the Arab neighbours, his attacks on Iranian targets in Syria and his uncompromising stance on the Palestinians, Netanyahu has delivered.”

El Mundo (ES) /

Israel has chosen stability

There are good arguments for Netanyahu staying in office for another term, El Mundo points out:

“Despite his reputation as a hawk Netanyahu has managed to consolidate a liberal project that has produced a long period of political and military stability and economic prosperity, reducing unemployment to a minimum, raising living standards and turning the country into a technological force. He has also secured the support of the US in two areas that are crucial for security: the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital and of the Golan Heights as a defence zone from which it can protect itself from its main enemy, Iran, whose declared goal is the destruction of the State of Israel.”

Gândul (RO) /

PM could be on trial at the start of fifth term

As he begins his fifth term Netanyahu is under considerable pressure over corruption charges, Gândul explains:

“After forming a majority government and being re-elected prime minister he will first of all have to tackle his problems with the judiciary. ... The details of the charges will be made public (their revelation was banned in the run-up to the elections). The first hearing is slated for July 9. It is entirely possible that Bibi will manage to have this postponed, if only because he must now lead the country. ... The judiciary, however, will have no problem with investigating the saviour of the fatherland who wants the Knesset to pass the so-called French law, which would guarantee him immunity.”

Novaya Gazeta (RU) /

Under pressure from the right

Israeli politics has shifted to the right, writes political scientist Boris Makarenko in Novaya Gazeta:

“Everyone in Israel is saying that Likud has drifted far to the right. What's more, most of its MPs are farther to the right than their leaders. And now Netanyahu is hostage to a situation in which the majority of his coalition is also farther to the right than he is. In all respects. He'll come under pressure with regard to reforms limiting the powers of the judiciary, as well as the planned annexation of part of the Palestinian West Bank. Netanyahu has long repressed these right-wing tendencies, but that will be harder for him now, particularly because he himself is dogged by corruption allegations.”