(Photo Credit: Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
“Bibi is back!” and “Bibi, King of Israel” are the chants of Netanyahu supporters, after Israeli networks predicted a narrow victory for opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu and his far-right bloc after polls closed on 1 November.
According to Hebrew news channels, Netanyahu called the leaders of his party to congratulate them, after exit polls showed a slight majority in the Knesset elections with 62 out of 120 seats.
The Religious Zionist party, which made an alliance with Netanyahu’s Likud party, is also predicted to receive between 14 and 15 seats in the Knesset, doubling representatives from the last election.
The movement is known for increasingly leaning to the extreme right with racist, anti-Arab, and homophobic positions.
Meanwhile, the outgoing coalition, led by outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid, is projected to receive 54 seats and 27 deputies, the highest number in the entire campaign, and well above its result in the last elections of March 2021, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Netanyahu has already promised to do everything I’m his power to “neutralize” the recent maritime agreement with Lebanon.
According to the Times of Israel, Netanyahu noted, “I will behave as I did with the Oslo Accords,”claiming those agreements with the Palestinians “were not canceled, they were neutralized.”
On 11 October, Netanyahu officially rejected the maritime border agreement with Lebanon and accused incumbent Prime Minister Yair Lapid of surrendering to threats from the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah.
“This is not a historic agreement but a historic surrender,” Netanyahu said via his Facebook social network profile.
The return of Netanyahu to power marks the rise of the most extreme far-right and openly racist coalition.
“If Netanyahu wins, it will be very dangerous for democracy and the rule of law,” notes Gayil Talshir, a political scientist at the Hebrew University, speaking on the former premier’s alliance with the ultra-right and his pending court cases for corruption – breach of trust, bribery, and fraud, according to EFE.