Skip to main content

Israeli right fears new Congress

For the next two years, Israeli settlers and their right-wing supporters will no longer enjoy unlimited access to the House of Representatives.

On Nov. 9, 2016, right after the presidential elections, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quick to congratulate Republican victor Donald Trump and was one of the first world leaders to call him. On Nov. 7 of this year, right after the midterm congressional elections, Netanyahu forgot to congratulate Trump. Surely, the inveterate Twitter master from Jerusalem did not miss Trump’s crowing tweet (“Tremendous success tonight”). It would seem, however, that there is a limit to Netanyahu’s willingness to make himself a laughing stock, even for his White House benefactor.

And while Trump congratulated House Minority Leader and Democratic Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi on her party’s success, Netanyahu did not bother wishing her luck. The veteran lawmaker is not among the prime minister’s coterie of fans on Capitol Hill, and there seems to be a limit to the number of frogs Netanyahu is willing to swallow. He probably remembers that Pelosi was highly critical of his intention to address a joint session of Congress about the Iran nuclear deal in March 2015. Netanyahu has many opportunities to tell Americans what he thinks of the Iran agreement, Pelosi said prior to the speech, adding a veiled barb to the effect that the Israeli leader is a frequent guest on Sunday talk shows in the United States.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 for annual access.