Thursday March 19, 2015

Netanyahu wins Israeli election with hardline security stance

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waves to supporters at the party headquarters in Tel Aviv.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waves to supporters at the party headquarters in Tel Aviv. (Reuters/Amir Cohen)

Listen 24:59

After an electoral victory that will make him Israel's longest serving Prime Minister, we're asking what Benjamin Netanyahu's narrow re-election signals for peace in the Middle East. 

Today in Israel, as the campaign trail dust — and election night confetti — all settles, one big question still looms over the presidential vote there: what exactly happened? When Mr. Netanyahu called the early vote back in December, it seemed like a safe bet for him and his Likud party.

Soon after, the sands shifted, and Isaac Herzog's centre-left Zionist Union seemed poised for an upset winIt was only in the closing days of the vote that Mr. Netanyahu tacked to the right, and surged again in the polls, just in time for a win.

It's a win that has left some with a bitter taste  — criticizing the Israeli leader of deploying a politics of fear and division to hold on to power. However, many others are happy to see Netanyahu back at the helm.

To find out more about what the election results mean for the region, we were joined by:

Gil Hoffman is an analyst and senior political correspondent with the Jerusalem Post.  We reached him in Jerusalem.

Moshe Ronen is a Vice President of the World Jewish Congress. We reached him in Toronto.

Rami Younis is a Palestinian citizen of Israel. He writes for the Hebrew language publication Local Call. He was in in Tel Aviv. 

This segment was produced by The Current's Ines Colabrese, Sujata Berry, Naheed Mustafa and Sonya Buyting.