Under heavy pressure from a surprisingly tight election, Benjamin Netanyahu the Prime Minister of Israel increased his appeal to voters in the right wing by declaring if he returns to office he would never establish statehood for Palestinians.
The statement by Netanyahu reversed his endorsement of a solution of two-states in the ongoing conflict in a speech made back in 2009 and fulfilled many of the suspicions of world leaders that he had never been that serious about the peace negotiations.
If he is able to win for a fourth term, his new stance would fray even more so his ruinous relationship that exists with the White House and heighten the tension with countries in Europe already frustrated with a peace process that is completely stalled.
Netanyahu said that anyone that would establish a state for the Palestinians and evacuate lands was giving an attack ground for radical Islam against Israel. There is a threat that a government that is left wing would join the international community and be led around by its orders.
Isaac Herzog the chief challenger of Netanyahu supports a solution of two states and promised to attempt to jumpstart talks between Israel and the Palestinians, though he warned it might not be possible to come to an agreement.
However, he has made the alienation by Netanyahu of Israeli allies especially with Washington a prime point of his campaign and said the international isolation of Israel in itself represents a security risk.
With his Likud Party, the conservatives, trailing Herzog’s party Zionist Union, in the most recent polls prior to the election, Netanyahu has increased his statements in a blitz of interviews and stops on the campaign trail leading up to Tuesday’s election.
He accused his rivals of collusion with Arabs. He also belatedly started to address the questions that polls have suggested will drive the majority of votes by the people.
He called the early elections himself only three months ago confident he could replace the governing coalition with one he could control easier.