Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received good news from Sunday’s run-off race in the French parliamentary election.
Netanyahu’s close friend and confidant Meyer Habib emerged victorious in the hotly contested race for the seat in the parliament representing French citizens in Israel, Greece, Italy and other Mediterranean countries.
Habib defeated Florence Pavaux-Drory, an aide to former French president François Mitterrand who lives in Jerusalem and is married to former Israeli diplomat Mordechai Drory. Pavaux-Drory, who had the support of popular new French president Emmanuel Macron, received more votes in the first round of voting.
A dual French-Israeli citizen, Habib was first elected to the assembly in 2013. Israel has nearly 80,000 registered French voters, more than all the other seven countries in Habib’s constituency combined, though more than 200,000 French citizens live in Israel.
Last month, Habib posted a video on his Facebook wall in which Netanyahu praised him in French and Hebrew and credited him for French-Israeli cooperation in fighting terrorism.
Habib won despite his Right of Center Republican Party fairing poorly in the election, which was dominated by Macron’s party En Marche.
Macron’s party won roughly four times as many seats in the assembly as the Republicans.