(Tel Aviv, Israel — March 20, 2015) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was re-elected Tuesday, pulling off an impressive come-from-behind victory. Many attributed the victory to Netanyahu’s political experience and savvy.
But for others, the numbers simply don’t add up.
Netanyahu trailed his opponent, Isaac Herzog, up until the evening before Election Day. Desperately trying to change his dwindling fortunes, he declared on March 16 that there would never be an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel for as long as he was prime minister.
The next day, he won a fourth term.
Many attribute his win to his “no two-state solution” pledge. Some lump in additional warnings about Arabs turning out to vote. And others reference his Congressional speech on March 3 – a divisive event because the invitation came from House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) instead of President Obama (D-IL/Kenya). Obama later outlined retaliatory measures against Netanyahu for giving the speech.
“It’s all fear-mongering,” said an Israeli political scientist, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Israel’s population is 20% Arab. Why wouldn’t they turn out to vote?”
Still, the overriding question for this election involves the pollsters: How could they have been so wrong?
Anonymous sources have told FLATLINEgov that the election was rigged by a close Netanyahu confidant – his computer-hacking twin brother, Inter Netanyahu – who broke into the electronic voting system and gave his brother’s Likud Party a bump over Herzog’s Labor Party.
“It’s the only logical explanation for the come-from-behind victory,” said a Netanyahu political opponent, speaking on condition of anonymity. “He and Likud were set to claim 22 or 24 seats in the Knesset, and instead they miraculously wound up with 30. Netanyahu called it a miracle. But this isn’t Hanukkah. It’s not a miracle when cheating is involved.”
Netanyahu supporters have dismissed the Inter Netanyahu story, claiming that the “no two-state solution” pledge pushed him over the top.
The win puts Netanyahu at odds with Obama because he has aligned himself closely with the Republican-controlled Congress. In addition to hosting the anti-Iran Congressional speech, Senate Republicans further inflamed the situation by sending a letter to the Iranian government attempting to dictate the terms of a possible nuclear deal.
“The bottom line is that Obama and Netanyahu don’t like each other,” said a political scientist, speaking on condition of anonymity. “In fact, it’s a damn good thing they don’t know how much each one hates the other’s guts.”
Perhaps even more problematic for Netanyahu is the potential loss of those same supporters, as he’s now backtracking on his “no two-state solution” pledge, which is certain to give buyer’s remorse to thousands of Israeli voters.
“It makes no sense,” said an Israeli political scientist, speaking on condition of anonymity. “He went back on decades of Israeli policy with one sentence, and now he’s going back to the decades of Israeli policy? At his convenience? I wonder what those who were swayed by his pledge are feeling today?”