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Netanyahu rejects comparisons with Trump, promises “peaceful transition of power

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud on Thursday rejected comparisons made in the United States between its efforts to block a power transition and those of former President Trump after the November 2020 presidential election.

Why is this important: On the verge of being replaced after 12 years in power, Netanyahu has sought to delegitimize the new government and accuse its leaders of perpetrating “the fraud of the century.” was committed to a peaceful transition.

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The backstory: Fears of potential political violence are growing in Israel ahead of a vote on Sunday to confirm the new government, which is led by former Netanyahu right-wing protégé Naftali Bennett and centrist opposition leader Yair Lapid.

  • Members of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, have faced death threats and protests from angry Netanyahu supporters outside their homes.

  • Netanyahu has dismissed claims that he and his entourage incite violence, and continues to claim that he is the victim of “the biggest voter fraud in history.”

  • Axios published an article on Wednesday comparing Netanyahu and Trump’s responses to the loss of power, and a segment of CNN on the subject was also widely shared.

What they say : Tweet in English, Netanyahu’s party said the prime minister had “complete confidence” in the election results, but insisted Bennett was nonetheless committing a fraud by forming a government with Lapid after promising not to do so for the countryside.

  • “Bennett hijacked votes from the right and shifted them to the left in direct contradiction to his promises,” the tweets continued. “If it’s not a fraud, we don’t know what it is.”

  • “Bennett’s actions are akin to American voters unilaterally changing the voters’ choice for the president against the will of the electorate,” the party said.

Between the lines: This is a political argument rather than a legal one. As Trump took the vote count to court, Netanyahu’s goal has been to pressure right-wing members of the Knesset to abandon the Bennett-Lapid Pact so that the vote fails.

And after: Although the Netanyahu party has declared its commitment to a peaceful transition of power, its aides will not say whether it will attend the official ceremony on Monday at which Bennett is expected to take office.

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