They can’t seem to win an election, but Israel’s left-wing has been determined to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by other means. And they’re hoping the apparent defeat of Donald Trump in the US presidential election will aid their cause.
Recent surveys showed that a firm 63.3 percent majority of Israelis would have voted for Trump given the opportunity, and were certainly rooting for him to win. Vocal opposition to Trump comes from the same minority of Israelis who have been seen taking to the streets every weekend to demand that Netanyahu resign from office.
And their voice reached fever pitch on Saturday night after all major American media outlets called the election for Joe Biden.
“Trump is gone, Bibi will follow after,” chanted a gathering of left-wing Israelis outside the US Embassy branch in Tel Aviv.
— איתי בלומנטל Itay Blumental (@ItayBlumental) November 7, 2020
Reversal of fortunes?
While leftist Israelis were pleased, perhaps no one was happier with Trump’s downfall than the Palestinian Authority.
Senior Palestinian official Nabil Sha’ath was quoted in the daily newspaper Israel Hayom as saying that the Palestinians would demand that Biden take Trump’s so-called “Deal of the Century” off the table.
And the Palestinians aren’t only pushing for the US to stop using Trump’s plan as a basis for negotiations. They want a Biden White House to reverse those parts of the plan that have already been implemented – such as recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
According to Sha’ath, the Palestinians expect Biden to return the US Embassy to Tel Aviv.
Where will Biden stand?
Joe Biden is an old school Democrat, and no stranger to the issue of Israel.
He’s long been counted by Israelis among the traditionally pro-Israel Democrats that include the likes of Bill and Hillary Clinton.
But with the Democratic Party changing of late, there’s concern that Biden could be dragged to the extreme fringes of party policy vis-à-vis Israel after entering the White House.
Israeli cabinet minister Tzachi Hanegbi warned last week that if Biden returned to the policies of Barack Obama, or moved even further left, the result could be armed conflict between Israel and Iran. The same report noted that Egypt, too, is concerned about a return of Obama-era policies that only served to empower Islamists across the Middle East.