Few foresaw the surprising setback suffered by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his Likud party and the right in general in Israel’s recent general election. It is an outcome that will have important ramifications for Israel’s domestic politics and foreign policy alike, particularly its Middle Eastern diplomacy.

Although the final vote tally awaits (soldiers’ votes have not yet been fully counted), the basic result is known. Given the current stalemate between the right and left, a shift of one or two seats (out of 120) in the Knesset could make a difference in the composition of the next government, which in Israel is always a coalition of some type.

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