According to current polls, neither Likud nor Blue and White alliance would be able to assemble a governing coalition after elections, raising a number of even more unlikely scenarios for doing so.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu kicked off the election campaign for his right-wing Likud Party on Monday with a speech lashing out at his rivals. Netanyahu painted his opponents Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid from the centrist Blue and White party as “dangerous and irresponsible leftists.” He accused them of trying to hide their true political leanings, comparing them unfavorably to former Prime Ministers Ehud Barak and Yitzhak Rabin, who signed the Oslo Accord with Palestinian leadership. The Blue and White party is expected to present its political agenda today. Netanyahu spoke alone, refraining from presenting fellow Likud Knesset members on stage as he has in previous campaigns. He also made no reference to the pending corruption-related indictments against him. Read More
Qatar announced Monday that it is still reviewing an offer to purchase Russia’s S-400 missile defense system, slamming rival Saudi Arabia’s opposition to the deal. Talks on the deal began when Doha and Moscow signed a military agreement in 2017, but the deal has stalled amid the Saudi-led blockade of Qatar. “We believe that for Saudi Arabia or any other country, it is not their business,” Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said at a press conference alongside his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. The French daily Le Monde reported last year that Saudi King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud has threatened military action against Qatar should it proceed with the S-400 purchase. Read More
The United States confirmed Monday that it has temporarily deployed its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system in Israel for a joint military exercise. THAAD is the most advanced US air and missile defense system, and this is its first deployment in Israel. It is currently deployed at the Nevatim air base but will soon be transported to an undisclosed location in southern Israel. Read More
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is exploiting a fraudulent symmetry between Kahane’s racial doctrine and a minority’s struggle for equal rights to incite against Israel’s Arab citizens.