Just four days ago, and three days before Israel’s September 17 elections, Donald Trump appeared to send Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a political gift declaring that the United States would sign a “mutual defense treaty” with Israel, as The Inquisitr reported. Even when the U.S. discovered that Israel had apparently planted electronic surveillance devices around the White House, Trump took no action due to his “exceptionally close ties” with “Bibi,” the one man who has dominated Israeli politics since the 1990s and held the prime minister’s post since 2009.
But now what The Jewish Journal has described as the “bromance” between Trump and Netanyahu appears to be over, as Netanyahu, according to reports out of Israel, did not win enough votes on Tuesday to form a new coalition government. He now seems to be on his way out as Israel’s prime minister.
When asked by reporters for his reaction to Israel’s razor-close election — an election that may to have resulted in former Israeli military chief Benny Gantz being given the chance to form the new government — Trump said he had not even spoken to Netanyahu, instead giving Netanyahu “the cold shoulder,” according to a Washington Post report.
“Our relations are with Israel, so we’ll see what happens,” Trump said when asked about Netanyahu’s likely election defeat, as quoted by The Post.
Israel is headed for new political instability, as the nation’s parliamentary elections ended in an apparent tie between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's party and his main challenger. The results are similar to the previous vote just five months ago. @SethDoane reports. pic.twitter.com/zlyLdruR6x
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) September 18, 2019
Former U.S. ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, told Post White House reporter Anne Gearan that Trump now appears to consider Netanyahu a “loser,” and as a result, has become much more cautious in his support for the 69-year-old who has served continuously as Israel’s prime minister since March of 2009. Netanyahu also held the post for three years from 1996 to 1999.
Yet another political comeback for Netanyahu still remains possible, however. While he retains at least a chance of forming a new governing coalition with Israel’s right-wing political parties, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert — who like Netanyahu belongs to Israel’s right-wing Likud Party — told The Daily Beast that another round of elections sometime early next year appears likely.
Tuesday’s Israeli elections were the second national elections of this year, with the first taking place April 9, as The Inquisitr reported. Netanyahu held power after the April elections, which were also too close to allow Likud and other right-wing parties enough votes to put together a governing coalition, leading to Tuesday’s Round 2 of elections.
In Israeli politics, a coalition requires that 61 members of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, agree to support a single candidate for prime minister. But after Tuesday’s balloting, it appears impossible, Olmert said, for either Netanyahu’s Likud or Gantz’s Blue and White party to assemble 61 votes — meaning that new elections appear inevitable within months.