Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to replicate the Modi magic in the recently concluded Israel elections 2019. His right-wing Likud Party fell short of the decisive victory in the closely contested election against Benny Gantz’s centrist Blue and White party, reports said. Reports said a Likud-led bloc may bag 55 seats out of a total of 120 parliament seats while the centre-left alliance may grab 56 seats. Both the parties are falling short of the majority 61 seats to form government in the Zionist nation.
On July 4, when Narendra Modi first visited Israel as a serving Indian prime minister, an exalted Netanyahu had said “We (he and Modi) are making history together…It is a marriage made in heaven, and we are implementing it on Earth”. As right-wing nationalists, both Modi and Netanyahu have a lot in common who see Muslims as their “enemies”. Reports said the two leaders reportedly signed half a dozen agreements, including one on space cooperation during Modi’s visit to Israel. Even, a month after Modi’s visit to the Zionist nation, India maintained a stoic silent when Israel imposed a clampdown on Palestinian access to the al-Aqsa Mosque.
However, despite being a right-wing party leaders and his close relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 69-year-old Netanyahu utterly failed to cash in on the Modi charisma and the highlight India-Israel ties during after the BJP came to power in India. Instead, Netanyahu made his close relationship with US President Donald Trump a main selling point in his election campaign. In the Israel Elections 2019, both Obama and Trump pollsters were pitted against each other to woo voters.
Currently, the Blue and White stands at 32 seats and Likud at 31 seats, with Blue and White leading by a narrow margin. It is important to note that these are still not the final results. The Jerusalem Post, quoting Channel 13, said 13, 94.4% of the votes from Tuesday’s elections have already been counted.
During this political crisis, Israel’s former defence minister Avigdor Lieberman has emrged as the possible king-maker. Reports said Liberman’s secular-nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party is likely to bag 9 seats.
The Jerusalem Post gave the following picture on mandates or seats won by different political parties in the recently concluded election:
Blue and White: 25.88% (32)
Likud: 25.13% (31)
The Joint List: 10.59% (13)
Shas: 7.47% (9)
Yisrael Beytenu: 7.03% (9)
UTJ: 6.09% (8)
Yemina: 5.82% (7)
Labor-Gesher: 4.80% (6)
Democratic Union: 4.33% (5)
Otzma Yehudit: 1.87% (did not pass the electoral threshold of 3.25%)