Elections in Israel: Benjamin Netanyahu goes for his fifth term

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After a tight election, Netanyahu will continue in power after being ten years in it

Elections in Israel: Benjamin Netanyahu goes for his fifth term

Last Tuesday, April 9, general elections were held in Israel. For some, they were taken as a referendum on Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister and who had been in power for 10 years, "in addition to the 3 years he led the country in the 1990s," says CNN.

Despite coming to the elections with accusations of bribery and abuse of trust, not only he has denied the charges but has taken advantage of these investigations "presenting them as persecution led by an elite of leftist media," according to the same medium.

Leer en español: Elecciones en Israel: Benjamín Netanyahu va por el quinto mandato

It seems that his strategy worked because with 97% of votes counted, Netanyahu proclaimed himself the winner again, after a close election in which both the Likud party and to which Netanyahu belongs, as well as the opposition party Blue and White, were left with 35 seats each. However, thanks to alliances with religious and far-right parties, Netanyahu reached the majority and that is why he will be able to continue for another four years in power, according to Eitb.

On the other hand, the elections were characterized by low participation, as Aurora points out, until 6 pm on Tuesday, around 52% of the Israelis had voted. However, in the last hours, "more than 3.8 million Israelis exercised their right to vote until 8 pm this Tuesday", according to the same media. The aforementioned represented 61.3% of people qualified to vote, in which there are "Arabs, Druzes, Christians and Jews alike. Even those in prison or who are in military service can do it, "according to TeleSur.

Despite his accusations, why does he return to power?

Security, economic, international issues and his experience in the position are some of the key factors for his reelection. According to El Comercio, their strategic alliances with the most right-wing factions, those that do not want peace with the Palestinians, have been the key to not having presented intifadas (Palestinian rebellions against Israel), and thus maintaining the relative tranquility that the country has lived, despite the constant threats from Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, among others.

Regarding the economy, although it is not yet a first world country, it is constantly growing, because according to the World Bank, it not only ranks 33th in relation to its GDP but also its commitment to companies with technological initiative allows employment rates to increase.

On the other hand, his strategic relationship with both the United States and Russia has led him to have the approval of the Israeli people. In the case of the European country, CNN notes that its relationship with Putin has been "remarkably fruitful, allowing the Israeli army considerable freedom to operate against Iranian targets in Syria".

In terms of his relationship with Donald Trump, it has led the US government to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, one of the key points in the Arab-Israeli conflict, as it initially considers Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. In addition to the above, their diplomatic relations allowed the United States to renounce the nuclear agreement that had been signed with Iran; that Trump declared the Revolutionary Guard of Israel as a terrorist organization and, finally, "declare Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, a territory in dispute with Syria", according to El Comercio.

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As mentioned above, his strategy as a victim of the accusations and the strategy of advancing the elections, which were to take place in October, allowed him to remain in power for four more years.


A strong opposition party

This new party, created on February 21, 2019, led by the union of the parties "Yesh Atid (Hay Futuro, Yair Lapid), Resilience Israel (Benny Gantz) and Telem", is shaping up as strong opposition to the government incoming.

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Headed by Benny Grantz, they define themselves as "a center, secular and socially inclusive party," according to Telesur. The name of his party represents the colors of the Israeli flag, which meant for many a vindication for the change of government. According to France24, Grantz acknowledged the defeat of his party but specified that "we have come to turn Parliament into better territory. The DNA of our formation is that of a ruling party (...) Blue and White represents a new path, a new language and a new unity in the fragmented Israeli society. "

Despite fierce competition, Netanyahu is preparing for a new mandate, from which he could be removed if the accusations against him prosper. The Israeli Justice has until July 10 to make the decision.


LatinAmerican Post | Laura Viviana Guevara Muñoz

Translated from "Elecciones en Israel: Benjamin Netanyahu va por el quinto mandato"