The Author

Pavel Vanev

Pavel Vanev is a researcher at Vocal Europe. He holds a bachelor degree in International Relations and History from Loughborough University (UK) and a master degree in History of International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science (UK).


Amid a neck in neck Israeli election, the incumbent Prime Minister, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, will likely garner enough support “to extend his decade-long stretch in power to become the country’s longest-serving [leader].”[1] Although the Premier‘s party, Likud, failed to command a lead, “results showed [Mr.] Netanyahu would be in a much better position to form a majority governing coalition made up of nationalist, far-right and religious allies.”[2]

The instinctive question to ask is what now? Especially for Europeans, the predicament will be more how to handle the Israeli Premier, “the controversial figure whom some perceive as Israel’s saviour, and others – as a cynical politician who will stop at nothing to retain his power.”[3]

To put it lightly the relationship between Brussels and Tel Aviv has been less than ideal in the past year. Ironically, one of the reasons behind the diplomatic disharmony is that the EU has persisted in its intransigence of withholding official recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The Times of Israel cited an unnamed EU spokesperson maintaining that “the position of the European Union and its member states on Jerusalem remains unchanged,”[4] while US President Donald Trump shrugged it off to be “nothing more or less than a recognition of reality.”[5]

 

 

 

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[1] Holmes, O. “Israel election: voters go to polls as Netanyahu seeks fifth term.” The Guardian. 9 Apr 2019, available at <https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/09/israel-election-voters-polls-netanyahu-fifth-term-gatz>

[2] Holmes, O. “Israeli election: Netanyahu appears on track for victory despite tied result.” The Guardian. 10 Apr 2019, available at <https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/10/israel-election-netanyahu-appears-on-track-for-victory-despite-tied-result>

[3] “Documentary Competition: King Bibi.” The Jerusalem Film Festival. Jul-Aug 2018, available at <https://www.jff.org.il/en/movie/22387>

[4] Ahren, R. “EU reiterates opposition to diplomatic missions in Jerusalem.” The Times of Israel. 20 Mar 2019, available at <https://www.timesofisrael.com/eu-reiterates-opposition-to-diplomatic-missions-in-jerusalem/>

[5] “Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, says Donald Trump.” BBC. 6 Dec 2017, available at <https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42259443>

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