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Netanyahu rejects Trump’s comparisons and promises a peaceful transition

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

Why it matters: On the verge of being replaced after 12 years in power, Netanyahu is working to delegitimize the incoming government and accuses its leaders of committing the “fraud of the century.” transition.

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Background: Fears of potential political violence are growing in Israel ahead of Sunday̵

7;s vote to confirm the incoming government, led by Netanyahu’s right-wing protégé Naftali Bennett and centrist opposition leader Yair Lapid.

  • Members of the Israeli Knesset face death threats and protests from angry Netanyahu supporters in front of their homes.

  • Netanyahu has denied allegations that he and his inner circle incite violence, and continues to claim to be the victim of “the biggest election fraud in history.”

  • On Wednesday, Axios released a story comparing Netanyahu’s and Trump’s responses to their disappearance, and CNN’s segment on the subject was also widespread.

What are they saying: Tweeting in English, Netanyahu’s party said the prime minister had “full confidence” in the election results, but insisted that Bennett was still cheating by forming a government with Lapid after promising not to do so during the campaign.

  • “Bennett stole votes from the right and moved them to the left in direct conflict with his promises,” the tweets continued. “If it’s not a scam, we don’t know what it is.”

  • “Bennett’s actions are similar to the fact that American voters have unilaterally changed the choice of voters for 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 passes the vote count to the court, Netanyahu’s goal is to put pressure on right-wing Knesset members to abandon the Bennett-Lapid Pact so that the vote fails.

What next: Although Netanyahu’s party says it is committed to a peaceful transition, his aides will not say whether he will attend Monday’s official ceremony, at which Bennett will take office.

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