Netanyahu moves forward

Obama interferes in Israeli elections. Does he also use taxpayer money to pay for it?
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The hits keep coming for Benjamin Netanyahu. Too many people wanted him to lose the Knesset elections two days ago. He won. And he might now have more power than ever. Power to do as he sees fit, not necessarily what “extremists” want. The world must simply wait.

Latest Knesset seat totals give Netanyahu more power

The Jerusalem Post published this latest list of the number of seats each Party won in the Knesset election.

Likud30
Zionist Camp24
Arab Joint List13
Yesh Atid11
Kulanu (“All of us”)10
Beit Yehudi (“Jewish Home”)8
Shas (Spanish Union of Observant Jews)7
United Torah Judaism6
Yisrael Beitenu (“Israel, Our Home”)6
Meretz5
Total120

Benjamin Netanyahu won the 2015 Israeli elections

Benjamin Netanyahu after the 2013 Israeli elections. Photo: Cherie Cullen, USDoD.

As one can see, Likud has one more seat than everyone thought two days ago. The Arab Joint List has one fewer. United Torah Judaism also seems to have given up a seat to Meretz.

Notice: the Arab Joint List has one fewer seat than they thought they had. (Some observers expect that list to break into its four component parts.) The Jewish Home Party, concerned as it is with building settlements, lost seats since the last (2013) election. United Torah Judaism also lost a seat. All this means Netanyahu can control any coalition more easily now than before. And he can build a coalition far more easily than can Itzhak Herzog of the mis-called Zionist Camp.

The New York Times underlines these last points. They then quote “analysts,” some of whom they name, as suggesting how Netanyahu might conciliate toward Arab and “Palestinian” interests more readily than he said he would. Did The New York Times offer an appeal to Netanyahu’s better nature and disguise it as “analysis”? Maybe. But they make the case that Netanyahu’s coalition partners can no longer play the loose cannon on the gundeck of state. (In fact, Netanyahu recently expanded on his remark promising “no Palestinian state.” He says he meant unless and until the “Palestinians” change their attitude and offer better conditions for such a state.)

As an aside: exit polls failed miserably to say how many seats each party would actually win. The New York Times has two theories. Many Likud voters, they suggested, voted literally in the last hour and a half, after exit poll takers had smartphoned their numbers in. Or if they voted earlier, they refused to talk to exit poll takers, out of monumental disgust with their country’s media.

Hits from the media and the world

Nevertheless, the hits keep coming. One expects this sort of thing from left-wing “alternative” sources, like Addicting Info. “Racism!” screamed their headline. They also said he “destroyed” Israel’s “ties to the White House” as the price of winning an election. Their argument, of course, assumes Netanyahu had any ties left to the Obama White House. Three years and nine months ago, Obama did everything but call Netanyahu a kike straight-out. During last summer’s Gaza War, the Federal Aviation Administration slapped an economic sanction on Israel. They used a stray missile fragment, landing on the outskirts of David Ben-Gurion Airport, as its specious pretext. Earlier this year, Obama refused to meet Netanyahu when he flew to Washington. Fifty-eight Democrats stayed away from Netanyahu’s address to a joint session of Congress. (Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, might as well have: she turned her back on him.) And let’s not forget Obama sending his chief election-campaign field marshal to Israel to campaign actively against Netanyahu, and use U.S. taxpayers’ money to do it. The White House doesn’t even bother to deny this any more. And the Senate wants answers. (And before you ask: yes, the Senate can handle the truth.)

As CNAV said above, of course a source like Addicting Info will say outrageous things. But to see such things come from the Associated Press and the Cable News Network, reminds one of the rampant anti-Semitism of the European press before the Second World War.

A High Place at Tel Dan, northern Israel. A metaphor for Obama vis-a-vis Israel? Maybe Netanyahu should take heed.

A “High Place” (Hebrew: Bama, pl. Bamot) at Tel Dan in northern Israel. Photo: CNAV.

The Obama administration wasted no time to telegraph its disdain for Netanyahu. (Obama still has not congratulated Netanyahu on winning the election. Two years ago, he took five days to do that.) According to The Washington Examiner, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest (who clearly never learned “the importance of being”) complained that Netanyahu “marginalized” Arab voters. And according to the AP, Obama threatened a more concrete diplomatic sanction. Specifically Obama might support, not veto, a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for more “peace talks.” (See also here at Foreign Policy.)

If you just heard thunder, you heard correctly. The United States has supported the State of Israel in the U.N. as a matter of policy since recognizing the State of Israel in 1948, before any other country deigned to do so. Will Obama now bring that support to an end?

If he does, he might prompt Netanyahu to climb down from the “high place” of depending on the United States. Michael Freund writes a regular column for The Jerusalem Post. He reminded his readers of what else Netanyahu said at that famous “right-wing rally.” He promised more than “no Palestinian state.” He promised more “settlements” in Judea and Samaria (“The West Bank”). In simple terms, Freund gave this advice to Netanyahu: “Build, Bibi, build!”

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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