Jewish World Compliments, Complains About Israel's Election Result

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J Street supporters rally in Boston for a two-state solution. J Street called Israel's March 2015 election result a "deep disappointment."Credit: Bob Nesson

From the Jewish World came congratulations for and complaints about Israel's choice to give Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a shot at a fourth term.

The Anti-Defamation League wished him well in building a new coalition, noting that the turnout for a national election was the nation's highest in 15 years.

"The proud demonstration of Israel’s open and vibrant democracy over the more than 67 years since its founding stands in stark contrast to every other country in the Middle East," the ADL stated.

J Street, a strident left-wing critic of Israel, said Netanyahu's victory is a "deep disappointment to all who hoped that Israel might choose a new direction for the country."

Netanyahu's renunciation of the two-state solution and "racism-tinged" campaign moved votes from other right-wing parties into his Likud, ensuring his victory, J Street said.

The group voiced concern that the strategy would cost Israel dearly in lost support from the U.S. and the international community.

The president of the World Jewish Congress, Ronald S. Lauder, urged world leaders "to work closely with [Netanyahu] and his new government.

"In a volatile Middle East, Israel’s right to exist as a democratic, Jewish state must be safeguarded, the security situation in the Middle East must be improved and the government must ensure that Israel can continue to be the economic and scientific powerhouse it has become in the past decades."

And Matt Brooks, the executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, an advocate for Jewish affairs in Washington, called Israel's election "a win for the world.  

"Given the consequential issues facing the voters of Israel, such as a nuclear Iran and Israel's security in a troubled region, they chose Netanyahu to lead them forward despite some international opposition."