After two failed attempts to form a new government, Israel will hold elections next week for the third time in less than a year. The elections are also taking place in the backdrop of President Trump’s recently issued peace plan.

Virginia Tech’s foreign policy expert Joel Peters says, “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not only fighting for his political survival but his freedom, as he is currently facing corruption charges in which if found guilty he could face a lengthy prison sentence.”

Benny Gantz, the former chief of staff of the Israeli Defense Force and leader of the Blue and White party, came close to toppling Netanyahu during the last election in September. “The two leading parties are neck and neck in the polls with the prospect of Israel once again facing the prospect of political stalemate,” says Peters.

About Peters

Joel Peters is a professor in the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech in the greater Washington, D.C., metro area. For the past thirty years, Peters has been an active participant in various informal, track-two meetings between Israelis and Palestinians on issues ranging from Jerusalem, refugees, borders, economic development and regional security. He has also served as an academic consultant to the European Commission on economic cooperation in the Middle East.

His research interests and publications cover Israeli politics and foreign policy, the Arab-Israeli peace process, regional cooperation in the Middle East and Europe’s relations in the Middle East and the Mediterranean. He is the author of the book Understanding Israel: Political, Societal and Security ChallengesPeters is regularly consulted by the international media on Israeli politics and has been the studio analyst for BBC radio for past Israeli elections. 

To secure an interview with Peters, contact Shannon Andrea in the media relations office at or 703-399-9494.