Tuesday marks Election Day for Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is fighting for his political life. Recent polls have shown that he may very well lose his office as Prime Minister, but the polls are tight and due to Israeli’s parliamentary system, his party doesn’t necessarily have to win for him to remain in office. But Netanyahu knew he was in trouble weeks ago when he decided to take his campaign to the United States.
After the controversial speech Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered to the US Congress, an already rocky relationship between allies got rockier. In his speech, the prime minister suggested that President Obama was naive going into negotiations with Iran to stop them from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) was criticized for his role in inviting the prime minister to openly oppose President Obama on foreign policy. What’s more is that Benjamin Netanyahu was criticized for accepting and delivering that speech that some say was primarily to boost his chances of reelection back home
This speech not only seems to have backfired for the prime minister’s reelection chances, but if Netanyahu loses, he will likely be replaced by a party leader who has been looking for change in Israel. The leaders of the major opposition party oppose Netanyahu’s hardline positions and policies and may well roll many of them back, much to the delight of President Obama. We’ll see what happens there on Tuesday.
If Benjamin Netanyahu loses, what does that mean for Israel’s government? Will they no longer attempt to undercut President Obama, and try to derail international efforts to prevent Iran from producing a nuclear weapon? Will they stop acting like war mongers, and let diplomacy take its course? Will they stop settlements and occupation in the Palestinian territories and instead look towards a two-state solution? Surprisingly, many Israelis are somewhat with President Obama on some of the issues, especially some of the leading opposition members in the election. Netanyahu may see this first hand if he is defeated on Tuesday.
USA Today – Netanyahu fights to stave off election defeat
Huffington Post – Netanyahu’s Main Challenger Widens Lead In Israeli Pre-Election Poll