The people of Israel have spoken, and it is Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing, religious coalition that they want to govern the country for the next four years.
The decisive election result puts an end to the political instability that has mired Israeli politics, with five elections and two failed governments in the last three-and-a-half years.
The AJN congratulates the returning prime minister and wishes him and his new government well in meeting the many challenges ahead.
We also pay tribute to the outgoing government. Spanning an unprecedented spectrum of political parties and including Israel’s first Arab faction in Ra’am, the Bennett/Lapid coalition can be proud of its own achievements despite the instability that eventually brought about its demise.
We hope that Netanyahu continues to build on those achievements and that his government does all it can to bring Israelis together, to advocate for the Jewish State on the world stage, to foster relationships in the region and to keep the citizens of Israel safe.
We also laud the strength of Israeli democracy, noting that record numbers of citizens – both Jewish and Arab – turned out to vote. Nowhere else in the Middle East are free and fair regular elections held in this manner.
But we maintain our concerns over the inclusion of the Religious Zionism/Otzma Yehudit faction in the coalition. We can only hope that in government, pragmatism trumps ideology, the negative influence of Itamar Ben Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich is minimised, and the bloc governs on behalf of all Israel’s citizens.
While many in the community applauded when The AJN expressed its concerns about Ben Gvir and Smotrich on the cover of our October 28 issue, there were some who labelled us “left-wing” and “woke” for daring to criticise the pair.
This is despite mainstream Jewish representative organisations and Jewish media worldwide expressing similar sentiments.
This is despite The AJN slamming UN bias, criticising the federal government’s Jerusalem decision and lambasting the anti-Israel National Tertiary Education Union motion – all in the last month.
Indeed, “Israel bashing” accusations made against us on social media say far more about those who choose to lash out in defence of a Kahanist who lionises mass murderer Baruch Goldstein, than they do about us.