Likud Hopes for Two-Seat Rise After Netanyahu Congress Speech

Anxious Likud MKs hope PM's speech at Congress will turn agenda back to security, give them momentum before elections.

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Cynthia Blank,

Likud members gather in Tel Aviv
Likud members gather in Tel Aviv
Tomer Neuberg/Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is off to Washington to address Congress - a move that for weeks has prompted division and controversy both home and abroad. 

In Israel, the Likud party is hoping the speech will help the party regain strength in the polls and move the campaign agenda from economic issues back to security. 

Likud has suffered some setbacks recently with the publication of a damning report putting much of the blame for Israel's housing crisis on Netanyahu's shoulders. 

Speaking to Walla!, an unnamed Likud MK said "we went through two relatively difficult weeks, and we came out of basically alright, but still with some damage." 

"Luckily for us, the other side did not rise at all, and so the fact that we lost seats did not mean much."

The MK expressed hope that Netanyahu's speech would draw the agenda back to security issues and strengthen the party in the polls, where it has been stuck at 22-23 seats

"We had the issue with the State Comptroller, now we're turning the page and talking about real things," he stated. 

"I assume Netanyahu will give a good performance and focus the attention back on the Iranian issue. It may not jump us up to 30 mandates, but it can generate positive momentum for us and give us back the two seats we lost in the last two weeks."

Another Likud MK also addressed Likud's drop in the polls, noting, "the campaign has gone through a few bad weeks and it was reflected in the polls." 

"We believe the speech will bring the political/security agenda back to the table," he said, adding that the race remains tight and "another mandate or two will be significant."








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