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Op-Ed: Can Israel See A Stronger Right-Wing Leadership?

Possible results of the Gaza war.
Published: Thursday, August 28, 2014 3:08 AM


Prime Minister Netanyahu strong-armed the security cabinet into accepting a ceasefire – a deal which, across the board, Israelis are against.  More than 54% of Israelis oppose this deal, because they don’t feel it will bring peace and quiet.  The majority of Israelis feel that Israel lost the war – and that Hamas will determine when and where to attack Israel.

Symbolic of this is the fact that two Israeli Jews were killed an hour before the cease-fire.

Outside and inside of Israel, many wonder, will this cease-fire last?

As today’s editorial in The New York Post noted, “The problem for Israel is that, long-term, Hamas remains a dangerous threat. We won’t second-guess the decision of a democratic ally that has to live with the consequences. But we do note that just days ago Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rightly compared Hamas to ISIS, calling them 'branches of the same poisonous tree.' The war trimmed the Gaza branch. But the risk is that, with its roots intact, the tree may grow back as lethal as ever.”

A poll for Israel’s Channel 2 found that Netanyahu's approval rating is now 32%.

Where to from here? Hamas is a terrorist organization, and with the Palestinian Authority in unity with it, they are seemingly one and the same.

While outside of Israel, Netanyahu is often referred to as “extreme” by the international media, or thought of as uber-conservative outside of Israel, today this so-called right-wing Prime Minister is opposed by the people. 

The Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University’s poll showed that among Israelis questioned this week and asked to place themselves on the political spectrum for foreign policy and security issues, 34 percent self-identified as part of the Right, 28% as moderate Right, 22% as centrist, 9% as moderate Left, and only 3% as Left.

Could it be that as Likud Member of Knesset Danny Danon has said, the Left is a so-called “endangered species”? And in that case, could a more nationalistic, stronger Zionist government in Israel arise? While no right-wing Coalition partner will bring down this government, Economic Minister Naftali Bennett & Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman are both ambitious politicians who want more.

Netanyahu is largely unpopular amongst the rank and file of the Likud’s powerful central committee – as they too are more right-wing than he is.

Once again, we wonder about Netanyahu’s vision. What is it and where is it?

Early elections are a very real possibility in 2015 – and could present the very real possibility of a stronger, more nationalistic Israeli government.