January 18, 2020

American Jews Won Israel's Election

“Tuesday was election day in Israel. But no winner has yet been declared. As of this writing, it appears that the parties committed to supporting Benjamin Netanyahu for prime minister will not win a majority in Knesset. At the same time, the opposition parties ostensibly committed to ousting him will also fall short of a majority.

It’s too early to predict exactly how this stalemate will end. But for the liberal majority of American Jews anxiously watching the election results, uncertainty was one of the better possible outcomes. Every Israeli election since 2009 ended with a more or less convincing victory for Netanyahu, victories which, in both 2015 and April 2019 immediately followed incendiary promises to upend the possibility of a two-state solution. For the American Jewish community, which is by and large committed to a just end to the conflict via two states for two peoples, this was a devastating set of affairs.

Netanyahu’s removal from office will be a reason for celebration should it come to that, and certainly a win for the American Jewish community. In the immediate future, a Netanyahu ouster probably spells a period of reprieve in tensions between Israel and liberal American Jewry.”

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