Israel’s premier calls for unity after Netanyahu victory
In this Friday, Nov. 7, 2017 photo, Israelis attend an after party of the annual New Year’s Eve celebration in Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reelection victory shocked Israelis as he continued his push for a peace deal with the Palestinians and criticized Israel’s role in the region. The victory makes Netanyahu Israel’s longest-serving premier. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)
Nov 10, 2017Updated Nov 11, 2017 at 14:47 pm
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been Israel’s longest-serving premier.
Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has long been compared to the late U.S. President Ronald Reagan as a result of his ability to unite his fractious coalition.
The election held on Tuesday signaled the end of his political career, bringing Netanyahu only slightly closer to the end of his second term as premier of Israel. Netanyahu’s new cabinet will face a tough challenge from the nationalist Jewish Home party, which will hope to lead the next government.
Although Netanyahu has not yet announced a new prime minister, he said Tuesday he has yet to make the call.
In an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 television, Netanyahu said he will meet with his cabinet on Wednesday morning and he plans to announce his new candidate for prime minister once a decision is made.
Israel has entered a period of “stewardship” of the country after the ruling party’s landslide election victory. But the election saw the country torn apart by a bitter campaign, in which Netanyahu did little to hide his disdain for the rival Likud party.
The election was the culmination of a series of election campaigns to determine who could form the next government, a period in which Netanyahu had been unable to achieve his goal of ending decades of conflict with the Palestinians.
There were also signs of a slowdown in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks as Netanyahu entered this election campaign.
Netanyahu defeated rival Benny Gantz, the leader of the Blue and White bloc of right-wing parties, who had been viewed as the most likely opposition leader.
The election was also the first time in Israel’s parliamentary history where the right-wing nationalist Yisrael Beitenu Party took seats in parliament, and the most right-wing party in the country.
The Blue and White bloc includes the