A decade after being ousted by Israelis entranced by his then rival's pledges of peace accords and modest governance, Benjamin Netanyahu has won a new lease on power over a country now more given to disaffection and fears of war.
President Shimon Peres on Friday handed him a mandate to form Israel's next government, and the right-wing Likud leader now has 42 days to put together a coalition. He should manage that with like-minded allies, even if his appeal to centrist and left-wing rivals for a unity government falls on deaf ears.
The U.S.-educated son of an noted Zionist historian, Netanyahu, 59, cast his comeback as vindication of the Likud's long view -- that ceding occupied Arab land unilaterally had backfired by encouraging Islamist foes of the Jewish state.
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Friday, February 20, 2009