Global Positioning Helps Israel's Netanyahu in Election and Beyond

(Wall Street Journal) Yaroslav Trofimov - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ability to establish a network of bonds, if not outright alliances - including with America and its rivals Russia and China - helped him win Tuesday's election. "Netanyahu is a very strong politician and now he is not just a regional politician but a global one - even though Israel is very small," said former Mossad chief Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Danny Yatom. Netanyahu's approach will be tested this year by the Mideast peace plan that President Trump's administration is preparing. For now, the ties between Israeli and American leaders are the best they have been in more than two decades. President Trump, who moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem last year, gifted Netanyahu with American recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights just two weeks before Tuesday's election. Then Russian President Vladimir Putin presented Netanyahu with the remains of an Israeli sergeant who went missing in Lebanon in 1982. "To many Israeli voters, Netanyahu appeared as some kind of a magician: in the same week he got a present not just from Washington but also from Moscow," said Yedidia Stern, a senior fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute. Other recent images that would seem unthinkable in the absence of any peace progress with the Palestinians included a handshake with the sultan of Oman, who welcomed Netanyahu on a state visit in October, and a hug with the president of Chad, a Muslim nation where Netanyahu flew to establish diplomatic relations in January.

2019-04-11 00:00:00

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