Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sat down with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell for an interview – the first since he won re-election.
They discussed several topics, including his recent election, his relationship with the White House, his speech in Congress, and his support – or lack of support – for a Palestinian state.
Most news outlets are now claiming that Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party won the recent Israeli elections. With nearly all votes counted on Wednesday, Likud had won 30 seats in the 120-member Knesset, comfortably defeating the center-left Zionist Union opposition on 24 seats. A united list of Israeli Arab parties came in third.
The New York Times:
“After a bruising campaign focused on his failings, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel won a clear victory in Tuesday’s elections and seemed all but certain to form a new government and serve a fourth term, though he offended many voters and alienated allies in the process.
“With 99.5 percent of the ballots counted, the YNet news site reported Wednesday morning that Mr. Netanyahu’s Likud Party had captured 29 or 30 of the 120 seats in Parliament, sweeping past his chief rival, the center-left Zionist Union alliance, which got 24 seats.”
Israeli Prime Minster Netanyahu pledged on Wednesday to form a new governing coalition quickly after an upset election victory that was built on a shift to the right and is likely to worsen a troubled relationship with the White House, according to Yahoo News.
In the final days of campaigning, Netanyahu abandoned a commitment to negotiate a Palestinian state – the basis of more than two decades of Middle East peacemaking – and promised to go on bulldozing areas and building settlements on occupied land.
Such policies defy the vision of a peace treaty for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is embraced by President Barack Obama and his Republican and Democratic predecessors, states Yahoo News.
The result was in some ways an unexpected victory for Netanyahu: opinion polls published four days before the vote had shown Likud trailing the Zionist Union by four seats.