Asharq Al-awsat English https://aawsat.com/english Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper http://feedly.com/icon.svg

Netanyahu Plans to Hold Polls when COVID-19 Vaccine Delivered

Netanyahu Plans to Hold Polls when COVID-19 Vaccine Delivered

Saturday, 21 November, 2020 - 09:45
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks in Jerusalem March 21, 2019. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has managed to divide and weaken Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party, and his right-wing camp has been able to undermine the status of the party that chose elections to carry out a quasi-military coup against the PM.


Netanyahu is preparing to hold early elections next year instead of that scheduled in 2024. He chose the second quarter of 2021 because he expects the first batch of the COVID-19 vaccines to have arrived in Israel by then.


Sources close to the PM have affirmed that his concerns over weekly protests against him, the decline in his popularity and his upcoming trial have faded away after receiving news on the success of the clinical trial of two vaccines that Israel had contributed to funding their research.


Last week, Netanyahu underwent a colonoscopy and two small polyps that were found in his colon were removed, according to a statement from his office.


“The prime minister’s health is excellent and he has returned to full activity,” the statement said.


The results of a survey conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute were published on Friday.


It indicated that despite the 73 percent of the Jewish public’s continued support and confidence in the army, more than any other Israeli institution, yet this confidence has begun to weaken after army generals decided to run in the elections through the Blue and White party.


This has led people to be skeptical about the army’s military decisions. Also, 64 percent said they believe that these decisions are politically driven.


As much as these figures disturbed the army and supporters of separation of powers, they were a source of relief for the Israeli right-wing, which has been fighting the military and security services’ influence over the country’s powers.


This battle had intensified in early 2019 when Gantz and former army chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi formed their Generals’ Party, which was seen by the right-wing a quasi-military coup against Netanyahu.


Maariv’s weekly poll indicated on Friday that Netanyahu’s popularity has declined again.


“If the elections to the 24th Knesset had been held on Friday, Nov. 20, the Likud would have received 27 seats – a drop of three seats compared to a poll conducted last week.”


Editor Picks

Multimedia