CBS: Possible Netanyahu Win Means Rise of ‘Right Wing Fringe’ in Israel

Richard Roth, CBS On Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, correspondent Richard Roth reported on the outcome of the Israeli election and a possible victory for the conservative parties led by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: "So, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims victory, too, with fewer votes, but it's believed more support from his traditional allies in right wing parties...there's a clear sign Israel shifted to the right. It may take weeks to create the next government here, but whoever leads it, is likely to have obligations to parties on the fringe of Israeli politics." Roth also pointed out that conservative victories may hinder Obama foreign policy: "And that could be a setback for the White House, eager to restart a peace process in the Middle East."

Back in 1996, when Netanyahu first served as Israel’s prime minister, CBS had similar concerns about his "right-wing" leanings. On the May 31 Evening News of that year, then anchor Dan Rather described Netanyahu’s election: "Right-wing hardliner Benjamin Netanyahu is declared Israel's new Prime Minister." During CBS’s This Morning that same day, then co-host Harry Smith asked: "Let's talk about his words for a second. Because it's not that many months ago that a lot of people were accusing Bibi Netanyahu of fanning the flames of the Israeli right, of setting the rhetorical tone for [Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak] Rabin's assassination."

Here is the full transcript of the report:

7:11AM SEGMENT:

RUSS MITCHELL: Israel's election is over, but who will actually run the Israeli government remains up in the air. CBS News correspondent Richard Roth is in Tel Aviv this morning. Richard, good morning to you.

RICHARD ROTH: Good morning, Russ. Well, Israelis this morning learned their election results amount to a split decision. Which has put the country in political limbo. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni celebrated her Kadima Party's slim victory at the polls, but that may be all her supporters have to cheer about. What she'd need to govern as Israel's first female prime minister in more than 30 years is a strong coalition of rivals to back her in parliament and she'll have trouble getting that. So, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claims victory, too, with fewer votes, but it's believed more support from his traditional allies in right wing parties. 'I will lead the next government' he insisted to supporters. The fact is, the bargaining that will determine who becomes Israel's next prime minister is just beginning. In the election aftermath, though, there's a clear sign Israel shifted to the right. It may take weeks to create the next government here, but whoever leads it, is likely to have obligations to parties on the fringe of Israeli politics. And that could be a setback for the White House, eager to restart a peace process in the Middle East. Livni or Netanyahu, whoever takes the reigns of government here, may find that restarting negotiations with the Palestinians and moving ahead may now become politically even tougher. Russ.

MITCHELL: Richard Roth in Tel Aviv, thank you very much.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC