Israel re-elects Netanyahu

By: Richard Meyer ~Copy Editor~

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was reelected in the March 17 elections in Israel. Netanyahu’s Likud party won 29 of the 120 seats in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, despite opinion polls, which anticipated the Likud to lose the majority seats to the Zionist Union party.

“We achieved the huge victory for our people,” Netanyahu said. “And I am proud, I am proud for the people of Israel that in the moment of truth, knew to make the right decision and to choose the real material things over immaterial things.”Netanyahu’s reelection came about two weeks after delivering a highly controversial speech to the U.S. Congress warning against U.S. involvement in nuclear arms deals with Iran.

Netanyahu also made a statement that negated an earlier statement of his support for the two state solution, which would make Israel and Palestine two separate states divided by the Jordan River. The Obama administration backed the two-state solution, and said Netanyahu’s comments might complicate a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine.

“We take him at his word when he said that it wouldn’t happen during his prime ministership, and so that’s why we’ve got to evaluate what other options are available to make sure that we don’t see a chaotic situation in the region,” President Obama said. Israeli president Reuven Rivlin has called for healing after the elections caused a lot of controversy for the Israeli state, largely due to Netanyahu’s comments.

“We have been through a stormy and passionate election period. This is the time to begin a process of mending and healing in Israeli society,” Rivlin said.