Trump seems set to see Netanyahu as Israel’s next Prime Minister

Trump’s judgement has been challenged by Gantz stating he would have admitted US Congresswomen Omar and Tlaib into Israel.  

David Singer

OpEds Dry Bones:Trump is for Netanyahu
Dry Bones:Trump is for Netanyahu

President Trump seems set to see Bibi Netanyahu re-elected as Israel’s next Prime Minister in the upcoming elections to be held on 17 September – the second this year following an indecisive vote in April that left no-one able to form Government.

Early voting by eligible Israeli diplomats and emissaries around the world has seen a drop in their turnout from 76% in April to 69% in September.

 If general voters follow the diplomats’ lead next week:

  • The voter turnout of 67.97% in April 2019 will be further reduced.

Netanyahu’s Likud party will increase its proportion of the vote - 26.46% in April 2019 - up from 23.4% in 2015 - to an even higher figure. 

Likud increased its numbers from 985408 in 2015 to 1140370 in April 2019 – whilst Yisrael Beyteinu’s numbers decreased from 214906 in 2015 to 173004 in April 2019. Blue and White contested the April elections for the first time.

Likud voters – buoyed by the post-April statements detailed in 1, 2 and 3 below - will most likely vote again – whilst Blue and White and Yisrael Beyteinu voters – unhappy with their leaders’ post-April statements detailed in 4 and 5 below – are more likely to stay home. 

Any increase in general voter turnout this time beyond 67.97% would defy the diplomatic downturn –but should still see parties on the Right securing more of those new votes than parties on the Left. Statements made since April by Trump’s Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, President Trump himself, Likud’s Netanyahu, Yisrael Beiteinu’s Lieberman and Blue and White’s Gantz support this conclusion.

Ambassador Friedman indicated that some degree of annexation of the 'West Bank' would be legitimate.

“Under certain circumstances, I think Israel has the right to retain some, but unlikely all, of the West Bank,”

More new voters – conscious of their own families’ personal safety – would vote Right - than those opposing any annexation - who would vote Left.

Trump endorsed Netanyahu as a “a great guy”

Netanyahu - speaking in Elkana - located in Samaria - pledged:

"With God's help we will extend Jewish sovereignty to all the settlements as part of the (biblical) Land of Israel, as part of the State of Israel. “This is our land…"We will build another Elkana and another Elkana and another Elkana. We will not uproot anyone here,"

In a first-ever public address from Hevron by a sitting Israeli prime minister - Netanyahu vowed

“To cite the late Menachem Begin and the late Yigal Allon: ‘Hevron will not be devoid of Jews.’ It will not be Judenrein . And I say on the 90th anniversary of the disturbances – we are not foreigners in Hevron, we will stay here forever.” 

These patriotic declarations should attract more Right-supportive than Left-opposing new voters.

Liberman promised to amend the law to make haredi youths do compulsory military training. 

United Torah Judaism MK Yakov Asher has declared  this the best possible get-out-the-vote campaign the haredi parties could wish for.  

New haredi-orthodox voters turning out to spare children in their community forced to undertake this military obligation (they agree to a yearly quota) would likely exceed new secular voters who think this is a reform long overdue.

Trump’s judgement has been challenged by Gantz stating he would have admitted US Congresswomen Omar and Tlaib into Israel.  

Gantz’s decision should not resonate with a majority of new voters – who might consider any disagreement with Trump could jeopardise Trump’s amazing support of Israel during his Presidency.

Trump and Netanyahu appear destined to continue their very special relationship after the votes have been counted.

Dry Bones:Trump is for Netanyahu
צילום: INN:HK

Author’s note: The cartoon — commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators — whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog