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Israel Tilts Away from the Right After Elections, Netanyahu's Power Wanes

Netanyahu has confirmed his legacy as a weak-willed leader, a venal politician and a poor strategist.

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The Republican Party: Netanyahu’s major setback mirrors, in many ways, the losses the Republicans took in the US in November. Bibi’s party moved further right, and like the GOP, it went further right than mainstream voters wanted. Bibi ran his campaign in a similar way to Mitt Romney’s as well, and it had a similar feel: lots of style, little substance and less reason for those not already beholden to him to vote for him. But most importantly, the whole Netanyahu-neocon-GOP nexus has been rebuked in both countries. The Republicans tried to define themselves as the “pro-Israel” party, but both American Jews and Israelis made it clear that they don’t agree and don’t want to see the issue turned into partisan football. In some ways, that is unfortunate. It would be useful to get rid of the “bipartisan consensus” and have a real debate about the US’ special relationship with Israel. But the GOP attempt to own Israel through its close ally Netanyahu has, at this point, failed.

Mitchell Plitnick is the former director of the U.S. Office of B'Tselem and former co-director of Jewish Voice for Peace.

 
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