ISRAELI Prime Minister Netanyahu, who earned reputation of a racist leader, has suffered a crippling defeat in Tuesday’s parliamentary elections brightening prospects of his accountability on the charges of corruption. Having conducted a vile campaign directed at Israel’s Arab minority, Mr. Netanyahu saw his Likud Party lose hundreds of thousands of votes and a critical handful of parliamentary seats, compared with the previous election in April — while Arab parties increased their representation by 30 percent.
His defeat has been described by many analysts as something good for Israelis, Palestinians and Americans. Echoing Palestinians’ satisfaction with the results, Mahmoud al-Aloul, Deputy Chairman of the West Bank’s ruling Fatah faction, said that he was happy to see Netanyahu “defeated.” Mr. Netanyahu, he charged, was a “symbol of racism and hostility,” and that Netanyahu’s defeat “came after his election campaign focused on carrying out more violations, especially the annexation of the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea.” On the basis of election result, analysts say if Israel’s other parties stick to their campaign positions, a leader who has polarized his country and damaged Israel’s standing in the United States could finally be forced from office — or, at least, prevented from following through on his most extreme promises that could damage prospects for peace beyond any repair. However, going by the ground situation, there would be hardly any difference for Palestinians as Jewish parties and candidates behave almost similarly as far as Palestinian and rights of Palestinian people are concerned.