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!
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • 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.