MSNBC’s Katy Tur didn’t hide her shock and exasperation at the news out of Israel today. Tur brought in NBC News foreign correspondent Raf Sanchez to help her make sense of the fact that Israel would be going to its 5th election in 3 years and began by saying, “Raf, Raf, Raf, Raf, How could this possibly be? How could this possibly be? They have had so many elections over the last few years.”
“That is the question a lot of Israeli voters are asking themselves. Here we go again, the fifth election in three years. This has basically been one long rolling political crisis. And Benjamin Netanyahu, the former prime minister of Israel, who has been in power for 12 years, has a real spring in his step,” Sanchez responded.
“He’s been on TV here in Israel, he’s looking bullish. This is a real chance for him potentially to return to power when these new elections happen in October,” he continued, adding:
What’s so extraordinary about that is this is a man who is on trial for criminal corruption charges, and yet the polls show that if the election were held today, his Likud Party would be the single biggest party in parliament and he would be in position to form yet another government.
Katy, we just learned in the last couple of minutes that Joe Biden’s trip to Israel in mid-July is going to go ahead as planned. That was not a total given. There was some thinking maybe the White House would not want to insert the president into yet another Israeli election season.
Sanchez went on to explain, however, that not only does the White House see the U.S.-Israel relationship as transcending who is in power, but that Yair Lapid will be the one greeting Biden.
Lapid is going “to serve as the interim prime minister of Israel for the next couple of months until after that election. He’s a centrist, a liberal. He’s somebody the Biden administration feels that they can do business with,” Sanchez explained.
Tur went on to ask Sanchez about the mood in Israel, noting, “These elections are extremely costly and weigh on the patience of the Israeli people.”
“That’s the extraordinary thing. There is actually a big right-wing majority in this country. Right-wing candidates win over and over again,” responded Sanchez, who noted that many of the right-wing parties refuse to join a Netanyahu government, which has led to the years of political instability that continues to grip the country.
“Speaking to Israelis tonight, there are a lot of slumped shoulders that the democratic process just does not seem to be delivering any firm results,” Sanchez concluded.
“Oh, wow. Raf Sanchez, quite a story,” ended Tur.
Watch the full clip above via MSNBC
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