Former Middle East Minister, Alistair Burt MP
He’s done it again.
No time is ever wasted watching Israeli politics from afar- unless you spend it predicting the demise of Bibi Netanyahu.
This was an election all about him- even if Isaac Herzog had polled more, the story would have been of Bibi losing rather than Herzog winning.
Once again we see the truth that just as football is a game for twenty two players in which the Germans always win, so Israeli elections are a regular event for an infinite number of parties and politicians, after which the PM is always Bibi Netanyahu.
The UK will envy the turnout- 71% is impressive in a modern democracy.
The Joint Arab List is a bold development, together making Israel’s democracy for all a reality- a treasure not to be lightly discarded.
The Israeli election system has done its job, reflecting a polarised and diverse society in slightly chaotic fashion.
But the result is clearer than we first thought, and the will of the Israeli people must be respected.
Domestic issues are not for foreign politicians to pronounce upon. But after the party there are some headaches abroad.
The Palestinian issue does not go away simply because the PM has said what he has – where will we go next?
Reaction abroad will, I think, be troubled, as this is an issue for our electorates too.
The US relationship will need attention, though the Israeli voters have surely bought their leaders explanation of the Congress speech rather than that of the White House.
So this result requires some thought.
After any knee-jerk quick responses, we need to think through more soberly what does this result mean for the region, and the various complex issues and relationships surrounding Israel?
The lights will be burning late in more than one Foreign Office tonight.