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Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu walks to address his supporters at his party headquarters during Israel's general election in Jerusalem.


Netanyahu clinches it

With around 99% of the vote counted, Israel’s former longtime leader Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu is in prime position to reclaim the prime ministership, with his Likud Party having secured 32 parliamentary seats out of 120, the most of any party. Bibi is now on track to form a coalition of 64 seats made up of extremist ultra-nationalist, anti-Arab, and anti-LGBTQ parties, as well as ultra-Orthodox groups. Many post-mortems will be written in the weeks ahead, but one of the biggest stories is the failure of Meretz, a flagship left-wing party, to reach the 3.25% threshold needed to even make it into the Knesset, marking the first time that Meretz won’t sit in parliament since its founding in 1992. Israel’s left-wing establishment is pointing the finger at Labor Party leader Merav Michaeli, who in the run-up to Israel’s fifth election in under four years, refused to merge with Meretz to boost the left’s electoral prospects, and the anti-Bibi bloc more broadly. Netanyahu will now do his usual shtick to try to cobble together a coalition. Though he has the numbers on paper, this won’t be a cakewalk: Many of Bibi’s “natural partners” will make their support contingent on certain demands, like portfolio leadership positions and cash for their communities. Bibi will have to make everyone happy to get over the finish line, and it won’t be easy.

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro gives a press statement in Brasilia.


What We’re Watching: Bolsonaro's broken silence, Iranian attack plans, Bibi’s return, Colombia & Venezuela’s lunch date

Bolsonaro lets his friend say the hard part

In a prepared and combative statement lasting less than two minutes, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday did not concede the election he lost on Sunday. He also failed to congratulate — or even mention — his opponent, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Instead, he welcomed ongoing nationwide protests by pro-Bolsonaro truckers, saying they’re the result of a “feeling of indignation and injustice about how the elections were conducted.” He cast himself as a person who plays by the constitutional rules and said he was proud to have stood for freedom of markets, religion, and expression. “The right has truly risen in Brazil,” he said. After Bolsonaro walked off without taking questions, one of his closest allies stepped up to the podium to say Bolsonaro had in fact authorized him to begin the presidential transition. As that legal and logistical process gets underway, we are watching closely to see how far Bolsonaro pushes the popular protests to try to gain political leverage. Bolsonaro lost to former President Lula by the narrowest electoral margin in Brazil’s modern history. Buckle up.

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A sticker and a banner of election campaign, depicting former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other politicians, are seen in Tel Aviv.


Israel’s fifth election in under four years: Will anything change?

We’ve seen this movie before: An ill-suited coalition government collapses, electioneering kicks off, and Israelis drag their feet to the polls.

On Tuesday, Israelis vote to elect a new government for the fifth time since April 2019. Former longtime Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu is looking to make a comeback nearly 18 months after he was relegated to opposition status. Accustomed to the trappings of PM life, Bibi has made no secret of the fact that he despises the indignity of playing second fiddle and desperately wants his old gig back.

As Israel votes yet again, what’s changed, what’s stayed the same, and what are the likely outcome(s) of round five?

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Israeli PM Netanyahu Seeks Record 5th Term: World in 60 Seconds
Israeli PM Netanyahu Seeks Record 5th Term: World in 60 Seconds

Israeli PM Netanyahu Seeks Record 5th Term: World in 60 Seconds

Can Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu win a record fifth term?

It looks pretty likely especially because his opponent Gantz has done a pretty bad job over the last few weeks. Lots of internal flubs and mishandling and he's way ahead in the polls at this point. But if Netanyahu ends up getting indicted, if those indictments come down, decent chance he's going to have to resign in the near term.

Will the EU approve another Brexit delay?

Almost certainly they will. Question is how long that delay will be and how flexible that delay will be? Ultimately, they're pushing the Brits hard to pretend that they won't because they want a faster deal. But given that's not going to happen they ultimately don't want to see a crash out with no deal.

Is Iran's IRGC really a terrorist organization?

Well, I mean, sure in the sense that they fund and support terrorist organizations that attack civilians across the Middle East, and occasionally more broadly, but they're already deeply sanctioned by the United States which means that designating them terrorist organization doesn't have an awful lot of impact on the relations with the United States, or more broadly, the Iranians will complain they won't do anything.

And go deeper on topics like cybersecurity and artificial intelligence at Microsoft Today in Technology.

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