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Jason Greenblatt and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2017. Photo: Amos Ben Gershom/GPO/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Jason Greenblatt, President Trump's envoy for Middle East peace, met in Jerusalem Friday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The backdrop: As had been expected, Netanyahu failed to win a parliamentary majority as the final results of Israel's elections were published this morning.

  • The results showed that the Channel 13 exit poll published Tuesday that predicted Netanyahu’s defeat was accurate.
  • According to the final results, Benny Gantz's Blue and White Party is the biggest party with 33 seats while Netanyahu’s Likud managed only 31 seats.
  • Gantz’s center-left bloc leads with 57 seats, and Netanyahu’s right-wing bloc has 55 seats.

Why it matters: Since Trump entered the White House in 2017, his administration has mainly dealt with Netanyahu — foregoing close contacts to the opposition.

  • It especially has almost no contacts with Gantz.
  • The White House will have to use the next few weeks to recognize the new political reality in Israel and familiarize itself with the new political players.

The state of play: Greenblatt’s trip to the region was scheduled before the elections but will now be used to get the pulse on the ground regarding the new political situation and the formation of the new government.

  • A U.S. embassy official said Greenblatt will have discussions with various parties regarding the U.S.-Israel relationship, regional dynamics and the administration’s peace efforts.
  • Worth noting: Greenblatt is also in Israel for private reasons to participate in the wedding of U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman’s daughter next week.

What's next: The Trump administration wanted to release its long anticipated peace plan after the elections — but that was predicated on the assumption Netanyahu would win and form a government.

  • The White House will have to review its strategy and decide whether to push forward with the peace plan — or postpone its release once again.
  • Greenblatt announced his departure from the administration earlier this month and had planned on leaving once the political side of the plan was launched.

Go deeper: Architect of Trump's Middle East peace plan to depart White House

Go deeper

Biden will reverse Trump's attempt to lift COVID related travel restrictions

Photo: Tasos Katopodis via Getty

The incoming Biden administration will reverse President Trump's last-minute order to lift COVID-19 related travel restrictions, Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary, tweeted.

Why it matters: President Trump ordered entry bans lifted for travelers from the U.K., Ireland, Brazil and much of Europe to go into effect Jan. 26, but the Biden administration will "strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Jen Psaki said. Biden will be inaugurated on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and Trump will no longer be president by the time the order is set to go into effect.

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.