Benjamin Netanyahu makes surprise comeback in Israeli election

In a move that has left some observers shocked, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears ready to once again take power in Israel following an election there this week. 

Fox News reported on Wednesday, Netanyahu’s Likud is poised to form a governing coalition alongside other right-wing political parties.

Win comes just over a year after Netanyahu was forced out of office

Netanyahu was quoted as saying in a victory speech that his party had received a “massive vote of confidence from the Israeli public.”

Aviv Bushinsky is an Israeli political commentator who formerly served as chief of staff for Netanyahu, and he argued that Tuesday’s election results represent a monumental win.

“The way I see it is that this is the biggest political victory that Netanyahu has ever achieved, at least since his first victory in 1996 and at least in terms of the numbers,” Bushinsky according to Fox News.

Netanyahu was ousted from power just over a year ago after losing to a coalition led by Naftali Bennett and his Yamina party.

That came after Netanyahu became embroiled in a corruption scandal concerning allegations that he illegally accepted thousands of dollars in gifts from wealthy individuals.

Political scientist says developments in Israel are mirroring those in other nations

Fox News noted that one of Netanyahu’s coalition partners will be Religious Zionism, a faith-based political party.

Gayil Talshir is a political science professor who previously headed the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Center for Senior Training at the School of Public Policy and Government, and she said the rise of Religious Zionism has parallels in other countries.

“We call this populism in power and what happens is that the ruling party ends up actually adopting the national conservative kind of ideology that pushes its ideology to the right,” Fox News quoted her as saying.

“What we saw with yesterday’s election is the rise of an extreme right-wing party in Israel, like we know from other national democracies in Europe and I think this will now be a fixture of Israeli politics from now on,” she continued.

“It’s not going to go away even when Netanyahu, who is 73 years old, finally departs from Israeli politics,” Talshir went on to add.