With the Likud party having won an impressive 35 Knesset seats in Tuesday’s elections, it seems likely that Benjamin Netanyahu will be asked to form the next Israeli government, giving him a fifth term as prime minister. To Shmuel Rosner, the reasons for his continued success are straightforward:
[Netanyahu] seems to have succeeded again this time for the same reason he has dominated Israeli politics for most of the past 25 years: because when it comes to Israel’s national security, he is a leader with strategy and vision. And that is what many voters want.
In the mid-1990s, during his first term as prime minister, Netanyahu rejected the assumptions underlying the peace process with the Palestinians. At the time this was considered daringly right wing. Today, it is considered common sense in Israel, including by Netanyahu’s political rivals. Likewise, Netanyahu was one of the first politicians to recognize Iran as the main threat to Israel’s survival, and fought fiercely in international forums to get the world’s attention to this problem. Today, this view is also widely appreciated across the Israeli political spectrum.
The list goes on: in 2005, he warned that withdrawing Israeli troops from Gaza would end in disaster—and it did. He successfully resisted eight years of the Obama administration’s pressure to offer concessions to the Palestinians. He quickly forged an alliance with President Trump that has already proved to be of great benefit to Israel. . . .
Has Netanyahu ever been wrong when it comes to security? The truth is, many Israelis will find it hard to think of an example. And this goes not just for voters for the Likud party, or the right-wing parties that are expected to join Likud in the next government, but even for Blue-and-White, which largely echoed Netanyahu’s positions on important foreign-policy and national-security questions.