Netanyahu came onstage singing his party song, and thanked his supporters for their hard work in securing the win.
“I remember our first victory in 1996. It was an historic victory,” Netanyahu said, in Hebrew. “But this victory, this time, is at least as sweet, if not sweeter. An even greater victory! Because it was a victory against all the odds.”
Netanyahu had trailed in polls until the final days, and still faces criminal indictment on corruption charges (which his supporters claim are baseless and politically motivated).
One may have been the indirect influence of American politics. Israeli voters watching Democrats choose Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) as their frontrunner may have been convinced to stick with their tough-minded leader. Netanyahu came to power in 2009 promising to oppose pressure from then-newly-elected President Barack Obama.