FOR THE WEEK OF APR 15, 2019
Israel keeps its prime minister, who'll soon be its longest-serving leader
Catch up on fresh Israeli government news, analysis or commentary. Share a catchy quote.
Look for a U.S. perspective on the election and American-Israeli relations. What do you learn?
Now read about another country in the Middle East and summarize the topic.
Israel's prime minister won voters' support last week for a fifth term. Parliamentary election results open the way for Benjamin Netanyahu to form a coalition government that could be the most religious and far-right government in his country's 71-year history. His party, named Likud (pronounced LEE-could), and allied parties appear to have won 65 of the 120 seats in parliament. Netanyahu (NET-ahnn-yahoo) He has led Israel from 1996-99 and again since 2009. This summer, he'll become its longest-serving prime minister -- passing David Ben-Gurion, the first person in that office.
Peace with the Palestinians living in Israel appears highly unlikely now that the 69-year-old prime minister is beholden to hard-line parties whose support gives him a majority in parliament. Those parties support Jewish settlements and want permanent Israeli control in the West Bank, an area with 2.6 million Palestinians seeking an independent state in their ancestral home. "Netanyahu seems content to indefinitely occupy Palestinian land," writes Zack Beauchamp, a senior correspondent in Washington, D.C., for the Vox news site.
The chief Palestinian negotiator tweets that Israeli voters "have said no to peace and yes to the occupation." In Washington, though, President Trump voices optimism. "I think we have a chance [for peace]," he says, "and I think we have now a better chance with [Netanyahu] having won." The U.S. leader plans to deliver a Middle East peace proposal, but Palestinian officials don't see America as an effective mediator. They consider Trump pro-Israeli, as shown by words and deeds – such as reversing longtime policy by moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, and recognizing Israeli authority over the Golan Heights, which much of the world condemns.
Election loser says: "We respect the decision of the people. We will serve them from any position that we will be in the future." – Benny Gantz, retired lieutenant general who led the main opposition political alliance
Palestinian figure says: "Israelis have voted no to peace and yes to apartheid. Regrettably, Israelis overwhelmingly voted for candidates that are unequivocally committed to entrenching the status quo of oppression, occupation, annexation and dispossession in Palestine and escalating the assault on Palestinian national and human rights." -- Hanan Ashrawi, Palestine Liberation Organization executive council member
U.S. journalist says: "Voters credit Netanyahu, whose strategic vision values power and fortitude above all, with piloting Israel to unprecedented diplomatic heights. . . . And they are loath to let anyone less experienced take the controls." – David M. Halbfinger, The New York Times
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