Bad news for Obama.
Benjamin Netanyahu wins, and wins big.
Obama tried to unseat Netanyahu and that backfired, big time.
It's no surprise that the Leftists of the New York Times Editorial Board are beside themselves, but this editorial is brutal, even for them.
Mr. Netanyahu showed that he was desperate, and craven, enough to pull out all the stops. On Monday, he promised that if his Likud faction remained in power, he would never allow the creation of a Palestinian state, thus repudiating a position he had taken in 2009.Poor, Leftists.
His behavior in the past six years — aggressively building Israeli homes on land that likely would be within the bounds of a Palestinian state and never engaging seriously in negotiations — has long convinced many people that he has no interest in a peace agreement. But his statement this week laid bare his duplicity, confirmed Palestinian suspicions and will make it even harder for him to repair his poisoned relations with President Obama, who has invested heavily in pushing a two-state solution.
Mr. Netanyahu added to the ugliness of the campaign when, during Tuesday’s voting, he said in a video on social media: “Right-wing rule is in danger. Arab voters are streaming in huge quantities to the polling stations.” This outrageous appeal to hard-line voters implied that only he could save Israel from its enemies, including the country’s Arab citizens, who represent 20 percent of the population and have long been discriminated against. There were signs that Arab Israelis were turning out in somewhat higher numbers, apparently to vote for the Joint Arab List, a coalition of four small parties.
Mr. Netanyahu’s demagogy further incites the rage that has torn the country apart. There were other inflammatory moments in recent days. Mr. Netanyahu claimed that nefarious foreign sources were trying to overthrow him and also promised to build more settlements, which most of the world consider to be illegal. Earlier this month, he made a subversive speech before Congress to castigate the Obama administration for seeking a nuclear deal with Iran, but that seems to have done little to enhance his support in Israel.
In his desperation, Mr. Netanyahu resorted to fear-mongering and anti-Arab attacks while failing to address the issues that Israelis said they were most worried about, namely the high cost of housing and everyday living in Israel. Although the economy has grown, the country has experienced widening income disparities and is now one of the most unequal societies in the advanced world.
...It is difficult to see how Mr. Netanyahu could find enough common ground with any moderate faction to govern constructively.
They're on quite a losing streak.