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Netanyahu (L) with Trump. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party rejected on Thursday the comparisons being made in the U.S. between his efforts to block a transition of power and those of former President Trump after the November 2020 presidential election.

Why it matters: On the verge of being replaced after 12 years in power, Netanyahu has been working to delegitimize the incoming government and accusing its leaders of perpetrating “the fraud of the century." But Likud tweeted on Thursday that Netanyahu wasn't challenging the vote count and was committed to a peaceful transition.

The backstory: Fears of potential political violence have been growing in Israel ahead of a vote on Sunday to confirm the incoming government, which is led by right-wing former Netanyahu protege Naftali Bennett and centrist opposition leader Yair Lapid.

  • Members of the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, have faced death threats and protests from angry Netanyahu supporters outside their homes.
  • Netanyahu has rejected claims that he and his inner circle are inciting violence, and continues to claim he's the victim of “the biggest election fraud in history."
  • Axios ran a story on Wednesday comparing the responses of Netanyahu and Trump to their power slipping away, and a CNN segment on the topic was also widely shared.

What they're saying: Tweeting in English, Netanyahu's party said the prime minister had "complete confidence" in the election results but insisted Bennett was nonetheless committing fraud by forming a government with Lapid after promising not to do so during the campaign.

  • "Bennett hijacked votes from the right and shifted them to the left in direct contradiction to his pledges," the tweets continued. "If this isn't fraud we don't know what is."
  • "Bennett's actions are akin to U.S. Electors unilaterally switching the voters' choice for president against the will of the electorate," the party claimed.

Between the lines: This is a political argument rather than a legal one. While Trump took the vote counts to court, Netanyahu's aim has been to pressure right-wing members of the Knesset to abandon the Bennett-Lapid pact so that the vote fails.

  • The other side: Bennett argues that his choices were to either form a government with Lapid or plunge Israel into a fifth straight election. Netanyahu had already tried and failed to form a right-wing coalition.

What's next: Although Netanyahu party says he's committed to a peaceful transition of power, his aides won't say whether he'll attend the official ceremony on Monday in which Bennett is set to assume his office.

  • If the incoming government is confirmed, Netanyahu would likely serve as opposition leader and has already pledged to bring it down quickly.

Go deeper

Jun 9, 2021 - World

Netanyahu's Trump-style campaign to stop Israel's transfer of power

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Horacio Villalobos (Corbis), Michele Eve Sandberg (Corbis), Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

On the verge of being replaced after 12 years in power, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is waging a desperate, Trump-style campaign to de-legitimize the incoming government and accuse its leaders of perpetrating “the fraud of the century."

Why it matters: The situation has become so tense — with members of the Israeli Knesset facing death threats and demonstrations from angry Netanyahu supporters outside their homes — that the director of Israel's Shin Bet domestic security agency issued a rare warning of potential political violence.

Climate reality collides with rhetoric at the G7 summit

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Leaders of the G7 agreed to a sweeping new agenda over the weekend. But while the communique they issued is lofty in goals, it lacks crucial details on climate.

Why it matters: The G7's paucity of specifics on climate finance and domestic coal consumption, in particular, calls into question the ability of the wealthiest nations to take sufficient action on global warming.

1 hour ago - World

Putin denies Russia is behind cyberattacks ahead of Biden summit

In an exclusive interview with NBC's "Today," Russian President Vladimir Putin denied that Russia is waging cyber warfare against the United States and refused to guarantee opposition leader Alexei Navalny — whose name he would not say — will leave prison alive.

Why it matters: Cyberattacks by Russian intelligence and Russian-speaking criminal groups, as well as the Kremlin's attempted assassination and jailing of Navalny, are among the topics President Biden is expected to raise at his Geneva summit with Putin on Wednesday.

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