Celebrations at the Likud headquarters in Tel Aviv, March 17, 2015.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Only hours after the surprise Likud victory, following weeks of polls showing the party would lose by as many as five mandates, the American media began its harsh critique of the Israeli election results, and especially of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The New York Times editorial titled "An Israeli Election Turns Ugly" criticized Netanyahu and questioned his legitimacy for the Israeli people, saying that "Mr. Netanyahu showed that he was desperate, and craven, enough to pull out all the stops."
"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s outright rejection of a Palestinian state and his racist rant against Israeli Arab voters on Tuesday showed that he has forfeited any claim to representing all Israelis."
Continuing their harsh critique, the piece said that "In his desperation, Mr. Netanyahu resorted to fear-mongering and anti-Arab attacks while failing to address the issues that Israelis said they were most worried about, namely the high cost of housing and everyday living in Israel."
Meanwhile, The Daily Beast's, Jonathan Alter called Netanyahu desperate and warned of harsh consequences as a result of the win
"A reckoning is coming — faster than expected — for Netanyahu, his Likud Party and maybe even for the State of Israel itself," he wrote in a piece titled "Bibi’s Ugly Win Will Harm Israel."
"Instead of trying to hide his desperation, he flaunted (or contrived) it, to great political effect, winning by several seats more than expected."
Alter further warned that Netanyahu's win would only serve to legitimize anti-Israel movements abroad. "[T]he 'BDS' movement (Boycotts, Divestment, Sanctions) will likely move from the (sometimes anti-Semitic) fringe closer to the center of the debate on college campuses and in international forums."
"Beset by European boycotts, rebuked by international tribunals, estranged from the president of the United States—it’s not a pretty picture of the fate of America’s closest ally in the region."