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Benjamin Netanyahu Tag

Israel is heading for a third election in eleven months after repeated rounds of negotiations failed to yield a coalition government. In consecutive elections, which took place in April and September, neither Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party nor the opposition Blue and White alliance managed to secure a majority in a 120-seat Knesset, Israel's parliament.

Israel held an election after the last election left the nominal winner, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party, unable to form a majority coalition. This time around, the result may be the same. Based on exit polls, which have been wrong in the past, there is no clear 'winner' -- keep in mind it's not like here where one party gets a majority. In Israel, whoever is able to form a coalition of 61 Knesset seats is the winner, and that can take days or weeks.

Many in the media and policy circles are fretting about the effect Benjamin Netanyahu's reelection will have on the peace process. But few are examining the true impediment to peace: the Palestine Authority. A recent Washington Post article took the approach that a Netanyahu victory "clouds prospects" for the success of the Trump administration's yet-to-revealed peace plan. Though the article refers to the Palestinians, it doesn't mention the Palestinian Authority, PA President Mahmoud Abbas, or Hamas.

With election day on Tuesday, April 9, in Israel, will Benjamin Netanyahu win his fourth consecutive bid (and fifth overall) to become Israel's prime ministe Or will he be displaced by a ticket headed by Benny Gantz, two other former chiefs of staff, and former journalist Yair Lapid? Lori Lowenthal Marcus provides a synopsis of the parties and process. Haviv Rettig Gur has a more comprehensive overview at Mosaic.

Then-president Obama's Iran Nuclear Deal was widely condemned on the right and by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who referred to the deal as a "bad" and "very bad deal."  One of then-candidate Trump's campaign promises was to extract the the U.S. from this very bad deal, and he did so in the second year of his presidency. Much to the chagrin of Democrats, the DNC, and the former Obama administration, this withdrawal from the Iran deal has been far more successful in stopping Iran from obtaining nuclear capabilities and from sponsoring worldwide terrorism than the original, bad deal was sold to accomplish.

For several years Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin has been the subject of investigation for alleged corruption, charges he denies. There was a lot of speculation as to whether he would be indicted prior to the April 9 elections. The Israeli Attorney General just announced plans to indict Netanyahu under a procedure that could take up to a year to play out just to decide whether there will be an indictment. The Attorney General thus created all the political fallout of an indictment, without an actual indictment.

Israel's Operation Northern Shield continues to uncover Hezbollah attack tunnels dug from Lebanese civilian areas under the border into northern Israel. The purpose of the tunnels was to surprise Israel in the next war by infiltrating special Hezbollah commando units who have been tasked with capturing an Israeli town or border community. While such a capture would be temporary, it would be a large propaganda victory.
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