Netanyahu, Lapid Win Israel Elections - Obama Disappointed, US Pleased

By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency

Jerusalem, Israel --- January 23, 2013 ... Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has just won a third term. And has done so with greater strength and support than most Israel media are reporting.

Even though Netanyahu only secured 31 seats, out of the Knesset's 120, for his right wing Likud Party, he has the full support of a new political party - Yesh Atid (there is a future) led by former TV news personality Yair Lapid.

Lapid and Netanyahu only differ in age, their politics are almost identical. Lapid, who won 19 seats in the Israel Knesset, won on a platform which promised that religious Jews would now have to serve in the Israel Defense Forces and find jobs. That their dependence on the Israeli economy to study all day in Yeshivas was hurting the very infrastructure for which they were living off.

Lapid also promised that he would not join an obstructionist bloc for which the Labor and Arab political parties were trying to form to bury Netanyahu. Between Netanyahu, his number two Avigdor Liberman, Yair Lapid and the smaller right wing parties - Netanyahu might actually be stronger today than before the elections.

Most don't realize that the so called political "moderates" in Israel are not left wing moderates but actually lean to the right.
There is little dispute among most Israelis that security comes first and foremost and that Israel has little choice but to confront Iran, Hamas and Islamic Jihad with as much unity as they can muster.

Those who speak of making peace with Israel's enemies sound good in their rhetoric but their efforts are as good as talking to a cow. Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Iran are not interested in making any peace whatsoever with Israel and repeatly say so. They transcend words and launch thousands of rockets and missiles into Israeli cities and towns from Gaza and Lebanon just so that there is no confusion as to their intentions.

Speaking to his supporters early this morning, Netanyahu promised to form as broad a coalition as possible. Netanyahu said the next government would be built on principles that include reforming the contentious system of granting draft exemptions to ultra-Orthodox Jewish men and the pursuit of a "genuine peace" with the Palestinians.

As for relations with the US, Israel and the US have never had a stronger bond.

Yes, there are deep personality and foreign policy differences with newly reelected US President Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu. But Obama does not represent the US except in title as President. It is the US Congress, the US Department of Defense and the US INTEL community which has had Israel's back. This will not change as Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, takes fire for the US on a daily basis.

Israelis have again placed their trust and survival in Benjamin Netanyahu. And with good reason. He is a former IDF commando with the leadership characteristics of Ben-Gurion and the articulation powers of Abba Eban. He is an experienced, tested politician and diplomat who knows what's best for Israel. And if pushed, he could become the most feared and successful warrior in the Middle East.


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Joel Leyden, journalist, media consultant, social media and SEO pioneer
working with both the Israel Defense Forces and the US Army in Haiti.

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