Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been Israel’s dominant leader for the past decade, suffered a crippling and perhaps politically mortal blow in Tuesday’s elections — and for all the right reasons. Following wild promises by Mr. Netanyahu to annex large parts of the West Bank, the first-place finisher in the preliminary vote count was the centrist Blue and White party, which opposes annexation or other steps that would preclude the creation of a Palestinian state. Netanyahu might yet find a way to stay on as prime minister. But 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.
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.