News / Middle East

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Calls Early Elections

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during press conference Oct. 9, 2012Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during press conference Oct. 9, 2012
x
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during press conference Oct. 9, 2012
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during press conference Oct. 9, 2012
Robert Berger
— Israel is heading to early elections amid growing tensions with Iran over its nuclear program.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went on national television Tuesday to make the announcement. He said he is being forced to form a new government because the current coalition is not able to agree on a budget for 2013.

The prime minister called for early elections, capitalizing on a wave of popularity for his Likud Party.

If Netanyahu wins, as analysts expect, it could give him a mandate for a tougher stance against Iran.  

The prime minister said Israel is facing many challenges. The first one he mentioned was preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.  But Israel considers a nuclear Iran a threat to its existence. Netanyahu has warned that if Western diplomacy fails, he might order a preemptive military strike on Iran’s atomic facilities.

The United States opposes that, saying international sanctions should be given more time.

Israeli opposition leader Shaul Mofaz of the Kadima Party welcomed the call for early elections.

Mofaz said it is time to replace the current government, which he said has isolated Israel politically.  He has accused Netanyahu of harming relations with Washington and he has warned that if Israel attacks Iran, it could spark a regional war.  But public opinion surveys show Mofaz has virtually no chance of unseating the prime minister.

The elections are due to take place early next year, about eight months ahead of schedule.

Israeli political parties

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid