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U.S. election results will shake Israeli politics



Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s largest domestic political asset Voting will be held on November 3-his relationship with President Trump.

Why it matters: The results of the US election may help determine whether Israel is about to face another election of its own.

In the next few weeks, Natanyahu and Secretary of Defense Benny Gantz-his political opponents turned into alliance partners-will decide whether to save the dysfunctional alliance or choose an early election.

  • Natanyahu is in an unstable political position. In the second wave of the coronavirus, his approval rating dropped. From January, he can go to court three days a week to defend himself from corruption charges.
  • If Trump wins, Netanyahu will likely use his close relationship with Trump to restore domestically. He may try to profit from early elections, telling voters that if he cooperates with Trump for another four years, he can accomplish a lot.
  • If Trump loses, it will be a huge blow when he can barely afford it. Netanyahu has established a long-term and friendly personal relationship with Joe Biden, but nothing is more important than his ideological and political agreement with Trump.

Game status: The government needs to pass the budget before December to survive, but Gantz insists that the 2021

budget should also be passed by then. When opinion polls show Natanyahu is difficult, he threatened an early election.

  • Passing the 2021 budget will make Netanyahu legally unable to give up his power-sharing agreement.
  • It requires Ganz to become prime minister on November 17, 2021, so he will be guaranteed to take office at least in the short term.

Behind-the-scenes: Gantz’s aides said that the outcome of the US election will affect their decision-making, and they believe that Netanyahu will do the same. Netanyahu’s aides denied that this result would affect his political calculations.

What to see: Netanyahu is seriously leading the election.

  • When Trump tried to gain recognition in a phone call with Netanyahu and Sudanese leaders last Friday, and asked “Sleeping Joe” if such a diplomatic agreement could be reached, Netanyahu said he was very happy. Work for peace with any American partner.
  • The next day, Netanyahu was asked at a press conference whether he was worried about the change in US policy that Biden won. He said that he hopes that any future US government will continue to promote normalization between Israel and the Arab world.

Between lines: If Biden wins, Netanyahu’s political opponents will have a closer relationship with the President of the United States than him, which will cause damage especially at home.

  • In terms of foreign policy, Netanyahu’s influence on the White House will be greatly reduced, and tensions may arise due to major policy differences on issues ranging from Iran to relations with the Palestinians.
  • However, Netanyahu managed to maintain a tense relationship with Barack Obama on issues such as Iran in order to build a conservative base. If Biden wins, Netanyahu can argue in the next election that he “protected” Israel from Obama’s attack and will now “protect” Israel from Biden’s attack.
  • This is a big change from Netanyahu’s past three campaigns centered on his close relationship with Trump.

Bottom line: Netanyahu has been cautious not to show it, but he hopes Trump will win on November 3.

Illustration: Annelise Capossela / Axios
Palestinian perspective

The stakes may be higher Palestinian leader.

  • Three years ago, Trump announced that the United States had moved the embassy to Jerusalem, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas suspended all contacts with the Trump administration.
  • If Biden enters the White House, relations with the United States will soon be restored.

on the ground: Abd Elraouf Arnaout, a political correspondent for the Al-Ayyam newspaper, said that Palestinian officials do not fully understand Biden’s expectations, but believe that anything is better than Trump in four years:

  • Armaout reported from Ralallah that Palestinian officials are paying close attention to the game, and President Mahmoud Abbas has been constantly informed of the situation.
  • He reported that Abbas rejected many offers to meet or talk with Trump or other senior US officials. All contacts are made through third parties, mainly regional and world leaders.
  • But Abbas and his aides have been in contact with Democratic members of Congress and are encouraged by their support for the two-state solution and opposition to the annexation of Israel.

Bottom line: Anat said: “The Palestinian leaders hope that the reality and policies under Biden’s leadership are completely different.”


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