Thursday, January 3, 2013

Is Netanyahu's Re-election In Jeopardy?

Good lord, I hope Israel doesn't make one of the biggest mistakes of its history in the upcoming elections.  If Israel turns to a more liberal leader, it could be disastrous. Pray for Bibi.

The story comes from The Telegraph.

Benjamin Netanyahu losing support ahead of election

He is said to have demanded an end to bickering within his Likud party and a bigger role for grassroots workers after successive surveys and a series of embarrassing publicity flops following his decision to merge with Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu party.

His intervention comes after the latest poll – published by Haaretz newspaper – showed the Likud Beitenu bloc poised to win just 34 seats in the Knesset in the January 22 poll, down from a current total of 42.

Mr Netanyahu and Mr Lieberman, who recently resigned as foreign minister to fight corruption charges, forged a formal electoral pact in October in the belief that it would enable them to win as many as 45 seats, as forecast by the prime minister's US election adviser, Arthur Finkelstein, a noted Republican strategist.

But current projections could leave Mr Netanyahu dependent on smaller parties on the hard-Right to form a new coalition.

Coalitions are inevitable under Israel's proportional representation system.

Opinion surveys show a surge in support for the pro-settler Jewish Home party, led by Mr Netanyahu's former chief-of-staff, Naftali Bennett, the son of American immigrants who made his fortune by selling a computer-software company he founded.

The latest figures would see Jewish Home jump from three to 14 seats, which would give it a potentially decisive role in the 120-seat Knesset. Polls show right-wing parties likely to win 67 seats, compared with 53 for centrist and centre-left groupings.

The Jewish Home's rising poll numbers has harried Likud strategists into a series of missteps that have inadvertently bolstered Mr Bennett's popularity. An unofficial pro-Likud website prompted a flood of complaints this week after posting a photo of him pictured behind barbed wire with an accompanying caption reading, "The Jewish Ghetto."

That followed an unsuccessful attempt by Mr Netanyahu to lambast Mr Bennett, who has served in an elite army unit, for implying that he would refuse to carry out commands to evict West Bank settlers from their homes.

Mr Netanyahu, who has campaigned on a theme that he is the strong Prime Minister Israel needs, was confronted with evidence of his own waning popularity last Sunday when staff had to close partition doors at a hustings speech in Nazareth to disguise the low attendance.

Staff promptly cancelled a keynote event in the town of Holon for fear of another low turnout and were ordered to focus instead on a youth rally scheduled for this Sunday, Maariv newspaper reported.

One campaign worker described the prime minister as shouting at staff in scenes that created "panic".

"The entire election staff is working to bring participants to the youth conference," the worker told Maariv. "Ever since Netanyahu shouted at us, there has been complete panic among the staff."

Mr Netanyahu's electoral troubles have been compounded by a rising mood of revolt among Israeli diplomats, dismayed at having to explain a recent rush of settlement announcements in east Jerusalem and the West Bank.


Bigfoot said...

Sorry to say, but if America can make (and even repeat) a horrible mistake, then so can any other country.

Findalis said...

It is not a liberal that would defeat Bibi but someone more conservative.

Only Obama and the Libtards want a more liberal (Livini) as leader of Israel. Someone like Olmert who Obama can cower into giving up the nation.

No Obama better pray for Bibi to win. A more hardliner will be harder for him to work with. In fact, it would be his worse nightmare.