Netanyahu will be Israel’s next Prime Minister – with Trump’s help

June 5, 2019 by David Singer
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The abrupt termination of Israel’s 21stParliament with new elections being called for 17 September has seen the New York Times claiming that Israel has been plunged into unprecedented political chaos.

A more sober assessment – based on comparing Israel’s 2015 election results with the April 2019 results – provides a different picture – in which Prime Minister Netanyahu will be returned once again as Israel’s next Prime Minister.

In an earlier article written in March – I opined:

“The cards have certainly been stacked against Benjamin Netanyahu being Israel’s next Prime Minister after three recent major developments—but he is by no means down and out.”

Those developments were:

  1. Israeli Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit’s decision to pursue Netanyahu for alleged criminal offences.
  2. Three political parties coalescing into the Blue and White Party – promising that two of the three previous leaders—former Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid—would each be Prime Minister for half of the next Government’s term of office.
  3. Netanyahu’s role in precipitating a marriage of convenience between Jewish Home, National Union and an extreme right-wing party Otzma Yehudit with alleged links to the assassinated Rabbi Meir Kahane’s banned political party Kach

I pointed out thenthat:

“The 2015 election results provide a useful guide as to the likely impact these three developments might have on Netanyahu’s chances:

  • the Likud Party only received 23.4% of the vote—hardly a ringing endorsement for Netanyahu and
  • 72% of those eligible voted—very high when compared to America’s 58.1%.

Likud’s low supporter-base seems unlikely to desert Netanyahu.

Voter turnout would have to increase dramatically or huge swings away from other right-wing parties would be needed to give Blue and White the nod needed to be invited by President Rivlin to form a coalition Government ahead of Netanyahu.

The unknown elephants in the room are the number of terrorist attacks and international political developments affecting Israel in the next five weeks that will concentrate voters’ minds — when actually casting their votes – on who can best safeguard their personal safety and Israel’s security.

Netanyahu is certainly not out of the race”.

Netanyahu won that race – the April 2019 election results revealing:

  1. Voter turnout went down from 72% to 68%
  2. Netanyahu’s Likud party vote went up from 23.4% to 26.46%
  3. The party forcing the fresh September elections by refusing to join a Likud-led coalition – Yisrael Beiteinu headed by Avigdor Liberman – saw its vote reduced from 214906 to 173004

These results should become more pronounced after voters evaluate the outcome of the Conference to be co-hosted by President Trump and Bahrein in Manama on 25/26 June to be attended by Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar – with Egypt, Jordan and Israel (represented by Netanyahu’s caretaker Government) and other regional Arab states expected to also attend.

The US State Department has confirmed the Conference will go ahead notwithstanding Israel’s snap elections in September.

Add to this the likely possibility that before the September elections:

  • Trump could recognise Israel’s political claims to sovereignty in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) as he did in the Golan Heights prior to the April elections
  • There could be further terror attacks against Israel from Gaza and the West Bank followed by swift Netanyahu-directed responses

Trump has already pronounced his feelings on Israel’s September elections:

“Bibi got elected. Now, all of a sudden, they’re going to have to go through the process again until September? That’s ridiculous.”

Netanyahu – based on the April 2019 election results and Trump’s anticipated pro-Israel decisions – is odds-on favourite to be Israel’s next Prime Minister.

David Singer is a Sydney lawyer and foundation member of the International Analysts Network

Author’s note: The cartoon — commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators — whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog

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