Bibi's Still in The Saddle, Which is What Israelis Want

Batya Medad ,

לבן ריק
לבן ריק
צילום: ערוץ 7
Batya Medad
New York-born Batya Medad made aliyah with her husband just weeks after their 1970 wedding and has been living in Shiloh since 1981. Political pundit, with a unique perspective, Batya has worked in a variety of professions: teaching, fitness, sales, cooking, public relations, photography and more. She has a B.S. in Journalism, is a licensed English Teacher specializing as a remedial teacher and for a number of years has been studying Tanach (Bible) in Matan. Batya blogs on Shiloh Musings and A Jewish Grandmother. ...

Bibi's Still in The Saddle, Which is What Israelis Want

If you're interested in Israeli politics, keeping updated via Jeremy's Knesset Insider is a very good idea. Every week or so, Jeremy posts results of various political polls, which indicate how Israelis would most probably vote if elections were to be held "now." The only thing I can't stand about his blog is that the color graphics, white on dark green, make it very problematic to copy/paste on this blog. I have to change to colors.

One of my favorite poll questions is:

Who is most suited to be Prime Minister?

The Walla poll published on Nov 21 2018 asked it, and the results are:

36% Netanyahu, 14% Don’t know, 12% None of the above, 11% Gantz, 6% Saar, 6% Lapid, 5% Livni, 4% Bennett, 3% Gabbai, 2% Liberman

That means that both "don't know" and "none of the above" are more popular than the second most popular politician.

I've been following Israeli politics for half a century, and the very simple reason why Gantz did "so well," being number two albeit with only 11% of the vote is that he doesn't have a political track record. Even in Shiloh, where I've been part of the election committee for decades, the least known candidate frequently does amazingly well. "Familiarity breeds contempt" seems to be part of Israeli political culture, although the exception is Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu.

One thing you shouldn't forget is that here in Israel we don't vote for Prime Minister. We vote for Knesset lists in the form of political parties. To be Prime Minister, one has to be able to form/negotiate a coalition. That makes certain poll data most crucial:

the Right-religious/Center-Left numbers

The results have been pretty consistent, give or take a seat, for the longest time:

66 [66] Current Right-Religious Coalition
54 [54] Current Center-Left-Arab Opposition

They are the best reading of what Israelis want in a government. And the truth is that no matter when elections will be, whether this government lasts the full five years, or just close to it, the next Israeli Government will be very similar to today's.