Benjamin Netanyahu Makes Late Push as Israeli Election Looms

Polls Show Sagging Support for Prime Minister


By Reuters

Published January 21, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made an election-eve appeal on Monday to wavering supporters to “come home”, showing concern over a forecast far-right surge that would keep him in power but weaken him politically.

In the last stretch of a largely lacklustre campaign that could produce the most hardline government in Israel’s history, Netanyahu has watched high-tech millionaire Naftali Bennett’s far-right Jewish Home party chip away at his right-wing Likud’s opinion poll lead.

At a final campaign appearance in Jerusalem, Netanyahu voiced confidence his traditional backers would not abandon him, and repeated his stump pledges to keep Israel safe and build Jewish settlements over international opposition.

“I have no doubt that many, many people will decide at the last minute to come home to Likud-Yisrael Beitenu,” said Netanyahu, who polls predict will still win Tuesday’s parliamentary election, albeit by a narrower margin than first forecast.

“I have a good feeling. And at the last minute, I appeal to each and every citizen going to the ballot box: ‘Decide for whom you are going to vote - for a divided and weak Israel or for a united and strong Israel and a large governing party?’.”

The final opinion polls, on Friday, showed Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud, running on a joint list of candidates with former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s ultranationalist Yisrael Beitenu party, still set to win.

But the surveys indicated his support had dipped to its lowest point so far and forecast that a potential right-wing and religious bloc of parties led by Likud-Yisrael Beitenu would have a slim parliamentary majority of 63 out of 120 seats.

If the polls are correct - and they have been famously inaccurate in several past elections - Likud and Yisrael Beitenu would capture 10 seats fewer than they took in the previous national ballot in 2009.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.