Eye On The World

Israel election results
On Tuesday, Israel held elections for the 21st Knesset, the nation’s unicameral legislature. What originally looked like a dead heat between current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party and Benny Gantz’s Blue and White Party has now been declared a victory for Likud. With 100 percent reporting, they have won a 30 percent plurality of the vote, which is more than enough for Netanyahu to form a governing coalition.

This will give Netanyahu his fourth consecutive term as PM and make him Israel’s longest serving leader. The conservative hardliner is also about to face formal corruption charges as a sitting PM. Due to Likud’s dependence on parties further to the right than itself, this election only pushes Israel deeper into the political fringe and farther from its allies in the West with Netanyahu’s promises to annex the West Bank.

Iran Revolutionary Guard given terrorism designation
On Monday, the United States designated the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization. President Trump announced the decision by saying, “This unprecedented step … recognizes the reality that Iran is not only a state sponsor of terrorism, but that the IRGC actively participates in, finances and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft.” This would place an arm of the Iranian military under the same classification as al-Qaeda and IS.

The guard is a paramilitary organization that operates outside of the regular Iranian military and according to U.S. projections may control up to 50 percent of the country’s economy. This decision could potentially make any kind of negotiations with the middle eastern power difficult, since the Iranian government quickly responded by accusing the United States of also being a supporter of terrorism.

United States turns trade war rhetoric toward the EU
The European Union has reacted strongly to the United States’s newest round of proposed tariffs on European goods. According to a statement from the U.S., the new tariffs would entail $11 billion worth of tariffs on a variety of goods; this is in response to a ruling from the World Trade Organization that declared that the EU was providing illegal subsidies to the aerospace company Airbus. The items in the newly announced tariffs would include items spanning from dairy products to aircraft.

The World Trade Organization has been attempting to broker agreements between the two economic titans, as accusations of illegal market manipulation have been rampant in previous years. However, stakes are particularly high due to the Trump administration’s history of implementing broad tariffs and other forms of economic retaliation.