Benjamin Netanyahu Stays in Power After Israel Vote, Faces Sharp Challenges

Bibi Must Forge Coalition Weakened By Poor Election Showing

Weakened by Vote: Benjamin Netanyahu now faces the daunting task of building a coalition.
Weakened by Vote: Benjamin Netanyahu now faces the daunting task of building a coalition.

By Reuters

Published January 23, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 3)

A senior member of Yesh Atid, led by former television presenter Yair Lapid, said the issue of ending exemption from military service was central to the party’s platform, as was reviving peace talks with the Palestinians.

“Whoever wants Yesh Atid in the coalition will need to bring these things,” Ofer Shelah told Army Radio.

“COSMETIC DECORATION”

Palestinians reacted warily to the outcome of the poll, voicing doubts it would produce a government more willing to compromise for peace, even if it included centrist parties.

An editorial in the Ramallah-based Al-Quds daily said such parties would provide a “cosmetic decoration” for a Netanyahu-led government that would mislead world public opinion without halting a drive to expand Jewish settlement on occupied land.

“We’re not seeking to make peace with this or that party in Israel,” said Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, adding that peace required creation of a Palestinian state to live alongside Israel based on the lines that existed before the 1967 war.

Netanyahu, with his scarcely veiled threats of military action against Iran and his tough approach to the Palestinians, has had a fractious relationship with U.S. President Barack Obama, who himself embarked on a new term this week.

“The first challenge was and remains preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu said, claiming election victory at Likud campaign headquarters after midnight.

Iran denies it is planning to build an atomic bomb, and says Israel, widely believed to have the only nuclear arsenal in the Middle East, is the biggest threat to the region.

Netanyahu views Tehran’s nuclear programme as a threat to Israel’s existence and has stoked international concern by hinting at possible Israeli military action to thwart it.

He has shunted Palestinian peacemaking well down the agenda despite Western concern to keep the quest for a solution alive.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.