Donald Trump knows a little about beating the odds. So when his good friend Benjamin Netanyahu called his own reelection "the biggest win" of his life, America's president could understand. To a raucous crowd, the Israeli prime minister said, "This is a victory against all the odds because we stood against powerful forces. They already eulogized us. Our opponents said the Netanyahu era is over." They couldn't have been more wrong.
To a lot of people, CBN's Chris Mitchell included, this was a historic victory for the prime minister. "Just a few weeks ago," he told me Tuesday from Tel Aviv, maybe even a few days ago, I don't think many people expected this kind of victory... [I]t looks like the exit polls are saying 60 seats. But given the momentum right now and the fact that he really has many more seats than the second political party called the Blue and White, it looks very likely that he'll be able to form that government... [from] the remaining votes that will come in..." More people, he hopes, from both parties should see this as a decisive victory and want to work with Netanyahu.
For the longtime leader, who's taken hit after hit for supposed corruption, this fifth term could be a historic one for peace. Since December of 2018, his government has been in a position of simple maintenance. But now, just a couple seats shy of a 61-seat majority in parliament, there are some big issues facing Israel that Netanyahu may finally be able to get to work to try to solve. Including, Chris points out, the Trump administration peace proposal.
"[I]f you don't have a working government and a prime minister that can make decisions, then that kind of peace proposal would just linger. So now, given the fact that Netanyahu and President Trump have both together unveiled that plan, it looks like those particular instruments or proposals can go forward... Two of the main things would be the possibility of annexing the Jordan Valley that buffer between Israel's eastern border and parts of Judea and Samarra. Those are two things that are on the table. If he can form a government pretty soon, looks like those things might be on their way to being implemented."
In fact, Monday night's outcome -- and President Trump's policies in general -- may have been a deciding factor in the elections. Especially, Chris pointed out, where turnout is concerned. The early numbers suggested that this could have been the largest number of ballots cast in decades. "I think a lot of the people in Judea and Samaria or perhaps in the Jordan Valley... in the last election, a lot of them didn't go to the polls. I think there was an estimate of maybe 200,000 people in that part of Israel [who] didn't vote... So, I think that particular plan was it was a factor [in getting people out to vote]." For now, he said, "it looks like the relationship between the White House here in Israel with Benjamin Netanyahu will continue." And that's not just good news for Israel but the entire Middle East.