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WILL ISRAEL'S NETANYAHU FIND A WAY TO CALL AN EARLY ELECTION AFTER RECENT FOREIGN AFFAIRS & SECURITY SUCCESSES?

U.S. Presidential Delegation for Jerusalem Embassy dedication ceremony.

Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is probably now scheming how he can call an early election (Israel's next scheduled election is currently set for November 2019) And with good reason. No doubt about it, Bibi is riding high after scoring some major security and foreign affairs successes. All this in the space of a week or so. Hard on the heels of the Mossad's astonishing caper in getting their hands on the archives of Iran's nuclear weapons project, President Donald Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal signed with Tehran in 2015. In announcing his decision Trump praised both the Mossad and Bibi along the way. Without a doubt, Bibi played a role in convincing the US leader that his tough stand against North Korea, which has paid off, should also be applied to Iran.

Question: If Trump's Democratic critic in the US, as well as Britain, France, and Germany, have praised the US President for getting results with Kim Jong-un, why do they refuse to do so when it comes to Iran, which is just as dangerous of a crazy state as is North Korea?

Battle now joined with Iran

Case Number two: Bibi has also been given top marks by even his left and center critics at home for his coping with the emerging military threat in Syria. The decision to clobber some 50 Iranian military targets after the Quds Force had tried to rocket Israel was carried out without the loss of a single Israeli aircraft or Israeli casualty. Nearly all of Iran's conventional buildup in Syria aimed at threatening Israel has been destroyed. Well, for the time being anyway. Israel has sent a strong message to Tehran - to wit: "we have the technological capability to observe all your secret military sights in Syria, and we can destroy them in just over an hour." The follow up was that if the Ayatollahs persist in trying to turn Syria into an Iranian forward base (as they already had with Lebanon), we will destroy it again. An additional message has also been sent to Syrian President Bashar Assad: If he collaborates with Iranian attacks from Syrian soil, Israel will hold the Syrian tyrant responsible.

But the biggest factor of all was and still is Russian President Vladimir Putin, the key power broker in what is left of war-torn Syria. It is obvious that Bibi was able to convince Vladimir to go along with the Israeli airstrikes against the Iranian targets. Although there is no love lost between Putin and the Ayatollahs, Russia now has its own military bases, personnel, and aircraft located in Syria. Nonetheless, Bibi had Vladimir's ear and the Russian's did no interfere with Israel's preemptive attack.

Find the Differences Between Donald & Bibi

In Bibi's case, the announcement of an early election in the near future would put all the police investigations on hold (under Israeli law police investigations of politicians are put on hold after an early election has been set).

On the other hand, there is a similarity between Netanyahu and Trump when it comes to how their statecraft is perceived at home. Trump has called Kim Jong-un's bluff while the US President is being pilloried for his domestic policies. This also applies to Bibi here in Israel. Both leaders are accused of throwing democratic practices out the window and are under investigation on several counts. In Bibi's case, the announcement of an early election in the near future would put all the police investigations on hold (under Israeli law police investigations of politicians are put on hold after an early election has been set). And in Netanyahu won that election this would put the attorney general in a very difficult position on whether to prosecute the PM if Israeli voters cast their ballot for Bibi knowing that he was under police investigation.

The Jerusalem Angle

Then there's Jerusalem. Many Israelis, including yours truly, thought it would be counterproductive for Washington to move its Embassies to Jerusalem at this time. Naturally, King David's city, built 3,000 years ago, should be recognized as the capital of the Jewish state. But there was another concern that it would spark bloody rioting, not only by the Palestinians but also in neighboring Arab states with whom Israel has been quietly building an alliance against Iran. But as the saying goes, "We don't know what we don't know." It now is clear that Sunni state like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and most of the Gulf States now perceive Israel as a valuable ally against their bitter enemy Iran. Bear in mind that Iran is a despised Shiah Muslim and non-Arab state. And that is why these Arab countries have remained mum over the Jerusalem issue. Another consideration is that the new US embassy is located in "Western Jerusalem", which is almost totally populated by Jews. That leaves Eastern Jerusalem predominately Palestinian as the future site for a capital of the Palestinian state - if the Palestinians ever get down to negotiating with Israel. It can also be said that America's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital may impress the Palestinians that Israel is here to stay and leave a lasting imprint on Palestinian consciousness despite their rioting and flag burning. However, on this score, in the immediate future, the violence along the Gaza border is likely to spiral.

Israel's Neta Barzilai won the 2018 Eurovision on Mary 12, 2018

P.S. On a lighter note to top it all off. Last night Israeli singer Netta Barzilai won the prestigious European song contest. She and her song "Toy" inspired by the "MeToo Movement" were selected number one by the 36 European countries that participated this year. This marked the fourth time Israel has won the contest since 1973. So guess where the European song contest will be held next year? Right! In Jerusalem, Israel's capital city!





Political Analyst David Essing

David Essing

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