The triumph of Benjamin Netanyahu in winning an unprecedented fifth term as Prime Minister of Israel, making him the longest serving premier beating founder father David Ben-Gurion, is no mean feat.
The leader of the right-wing Likud party, dubbed “Bibi, the magician”, won 35 seats in the 120-seat Knesset, the exact same number that his challenger and head of the Blue and White alliance, the pro-change centrist Benny Gantz did. But with the backing of other right-wing parties, the continued decimation of once powerful Labour and the Israeli Arabs winning a mere ten seats, he could well be in an unassailable position to change the map of the Middle East.
Few doubt, it will translate into Mr Netanyahu scrapping the two-state solution altogether, with his proposed annexation of the West Bank and refusal to give up Israeli settlements a signal that Gaza could be the Palestinians’ only refuge .
Trapped in a vortex of violence between Hezbollah-backed Hamas of Ismail Haniyeh and the Israeli Defense Forces, shorn of support from the Gulf states who have warmed to Mr Netanyahu as their new ally in the war against common enemy Tehran, the Palestinians have lost what little support there was for a Palestinian state; be it, two state or one.
For India, relations with newfound ally Israel can only get trickier as it negotiates, keeping on the right side of both Tel Aviv and Tehran, while living with the consequences of abandoning the Palestinians to their fate.
Washington’s recognition of Jersualem as Israel’s capital and the Golan as part of Israel, is a precursor to the US’s new and, as yet, secret peace plan that Mr Netanyahu could yet seal as his lasting legacy....