Israel Election Watch: Netanyahu Remains Well-Positioned with 8 Days to Go
As the countdown to Israel’s election enters the final week absent any proverbial “surprises,” incumbent Binyamin Netanyahu appears well-positioned to assume an unprecedented fifth term in office and surpass the longevity of the nation’s near-mythical founding prime minister David Ben-Gurion. The true-to-form campaign season reaches its crescendo with Netanyahu promising he won’t make his nearest opponent, novice politician former army chief-of-staff Benny Gantz his defense minister, although one would be hard pressed to find anyone to bet on it not happening. While the parties fight it out (Gantz’s Blue-and-White coalition leading by a few seats), Netanyahu remains strong in the two most important categories: his preference by a large majority of those polled to be the guy with his finger on the button (if there is a button); and the more certain of the two party leaders to be able to form a coalition of 61 or more legislators. Fueling Netanyahu’s momentum is a 56% majority that believes the race is Netanyahu’s to lose. Notably absent from the election update is the matter of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s legal woes.