Former Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, is set for a comeback that would put the 73-year-old right-winger back at the helm of leadership.
As votes are being counted in the country’s fifth election since 2019, 87 per cent of the results have already been calculated, with Netanyahu’s bloc set to win 65 out of 120 seats.
“We are close to a big victory,” he told his supporters in Jerusalem.
In order to be lead the government in Israel, a party needs to win 61 seats in Parliament. If that number isn’t obtainable for whatever reason, the one dominating has to negotiate with other parties an alliance in order to create a coalition.
This would be a controversial comeback for the politician as he is currently charged with multiple counts of corruption with legal proceedings and investigations currently ongoing.
Netanyahu is also the longest-serving prime minister in Israel’s history.
Netanyahu’s return comes at a time of polarization in Israel
The rise in Israeli-Palestine attacks and violence heightens fear in the country.
Israel, which has a population of 9.4 million, is furthermore facing increased costs of living and a level of inflation at a multi-year highs, like so many other countries, due to geopolitical conflict, This includes Russia’s war in Ukraine in combination with energy shortages and supply chain issues.
Yohanan Plesner, president of the Israel Democracy Institute who was a Knesset member for the centrist-liberal Kadima party said, “The new Israelis Knesset, and most likely Netanyahu’s new government, will be much more religious and right-leaning,” according to a report by CNBC.
Plesner added however that “there shouldn’t be a major shift in the economy, foreign policy or security affairs – rather we expect changes to take place on constitutional matters and on questions of religion and state.”
Netanyahu’s potential win would see a coalition that is represented by a hardline right-wing and ultra orthodox parties.
“Netanyahu himself has traditionally been cautions and risk-averse on foreign policy questions and security manners,” Plesner said, “but it will be a challenge for him to rein in some of the more extreme elements of his coalition who have a history of provocative behavior and whose actions could lead to unintended consequences.”
Current relations between Greece and Israel
Today, Greece and Israel enjoy excellent diplomatic relations and consider each other allies. Israel is the second largest importer of Greek products in the Middle East.
Relations between the two countries are also reinforced by the over two millennia old Jewish presence in Greece while Jerusalem is home to the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
The two countries have strengthened their defense relations in recent years. Israeli jets often participate in drills with the Hellenic Air Force.
Greece, in partnership with Israel, recently opened a flight school in the southern city of Kalamata that will train pilots in combat and other missions.
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