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Israeli Minister Predicts End of Netanyahu’s Political Career if he Insists on Early Elections

Israeli Minister Predicts End of Netanyahu’s Political Career if he Insists on Early Elections

Tuesday, 20 October, 2020 - 10:45
Protesters gather outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem in July. (AFP)

Israeli Minister of Science Izhar Shay announced that accurate political indications show that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is at the end of his political career if he is determined to hold fresh early elections.

The Minister from the Blue and White party asserted that his statements are based on scientific and professional political calculations, citing polls indicating that Likud seats will drop from 36 to 26.

Netanyahu’s chances of returning as a prime minister after holding new elections are slim, and the PM is reconsidering the idea, according to Shay.

The Minister predicted Netanyahu would lose his current coalition if he continued his failed policy in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and its economic impact.

He announced that Blue and White party leader and alternate prime minister, Benny Gantz, gave Netanyahu until the end of this month to approve the state budget.

Surveys conducted by Channel 12 and 13 showed the continued decline of the Likud headed by Netanyahu.

Channel 12’s poll found that Likud would win 27 seats and Naftali Bennett’s bloc would win 22. Such polls would make the Yamina far-right alliance the second largest political group after Likud, with 22 seats.

The third largest party would be Yesh Atid-Telem, which gained 3 seats, rising to a total of 17 seats, in the Channel 12 poll. The Joint List of Arab-majority parties, led by Ayman Oudeh, would garner 15 seats, one less than in the previous survey.

If an election were held today, Likud is still projected to lead with 27 seats, Yamina would secure 24, and Yesh Atid-Telem would rise to a total of 21, according to the Channel 13 poll.

Both polls predicted that the Labor Party, Gesher, Derech Eretz and Habayit Hayehudi would not pass the electoral threshold.

According to these results, it is theoretically possible to form a government of Zionist parties, consisting of 61 deputies without Netanyahu or his alt-right allies.

The coalition will then include: Yamina, Yesh Atid-Telem, Yisrael Beiteinu and Blue and White.

The polls also asked the Israelis about their opinion regarding Netanyahu's trial on corruption charges.

About 48 percent said that an indictment should be filed against him, 34 percent said they did not believe that an indictment should be brought against him, and 18 percent did not answer.

Participants were also asked about the government's management of the coronavirus crisis. Fifty-eight percent said Netanyahu’s performance was poor, compared to 36 percent who rated it as good.

When asked about the best suited figure to lead the government, 32 percent chose Netanyahu, ahead of Bennett, who received 21 percent, while the head of the Yesh-Atid party, Yair Lapid, got by 9 percent, and only 6 percent of those surveyed voted for Gantz.

Significantly, 22 percent of the respondents said that none of the aforementioned persons is suitable to assume the premiership.

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