Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won the election but he was just kidding about his pre-election vow not to allow the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Bibi’s Likud Party defeated major challenger Isaac Herzog’s Zionist Union party early Wednesday after after early exit polls suggested a tight race.
“I am proud of the Israeli people that, in the moment of truth, knew how to separate between what’s important or what’s not and to stand up for what’s important,” Netanyahu said, after declaring an early victory on serving his fourth term.
Secretary of State John Kerry—not President Obama—called to congratulate Netanyahu on his party’s victory in Tuesday’s elections. The U.S was still a little peeved about Netanyahu’s pre-election comments that dismissed the possibility of Palestinian statehood under his rule and his warning that Arab-Israeli citizens were voting against him. The US, EU and UN have all urged him to cut the “divisive rhetoric” and continue with the two-state solution to the Palestinian issue.
But just days after declaring he would not allow the creation of a Palestinian state if re-elected, the newly reelected Bibi said he was just kidding about all that Palestine stuff. In the Prime Minister’s new watered down approach, he reaffirmed his commitment to “a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution” but said “circumstances have to change”.
A politician saying something just to shore up support among right-wing voters then reneging on it after relection? Yeah, that sounds about right.