Who will win the Israeli elections?

Anyone who is following Middle East politics will know that Israel is holding its general election on 9 April. 

Anyone who is following Middle East politics will know that Israel is holding its general election on 9 April. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is standing against several candidates the main one contender being Benny Gentz. While some news outlets maintain that he is getting closer, others maintain that Netanyahu will win again. What will be the outcome?

This is what Al Monitor says.

A political storm called Gantz

Ben Caspit April 5, 2019

Article Summary

Polls indicate that Blue and White leader Benny Gantz is getting closer and closer to toppling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the April 9 elections. Can he make it?

Gantz would come so close to replacing Benjamin Netanyahu as the prime minister of Israel. Many Israelis willing to give a kidney just to see Netanyahu pack his bags and vacate the official residence on Jerusalem's Balfour Street are now pinning their hopes on this gangly, introverted, shy and soft-spoken officer. Just over four years ago, this seemingly unimpressive man set out to find himself after a lifelong military career that took him to the pinnacle of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as chief of staff. In December 2018, the retired lieutenant general formed a political party called the Israel Resilience Party, bringing the entire political establishment to its knees.

Among the many aspiring to Netanyahu's crown, Gantz became an odds-on favorite to achieve what no one had managed to do over the past decade. With his party overtaking Netanyahu's Likud, Gantz turned into the great white hope of the anti-Netanyahu camp. There were other wannabes for the title in the past, such as head of the centrist Yesh Atid party Yair Lapid, head of the right-wing Yisrael Beitenu party Avigdor Liberman and leader of the New Right party Naftali Bennett. Then there were former Likud Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and even the popular former IDF chief whom Gantz replaced in 2011, Lt. Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi. However, Ashkenazi, tarnished by scandal (the Harpaz affair) over a falsified document and ugly turf war, waited too long to decide; Liberman missed his chance in the 2015 elections; Bennett was trampled by Netanyahu's political machine and Lapid was unable to break through his glass ceiling. Benny Gantz, the man from nowhere, did it.

On the final days before the April 9 elections, the polls paint a confusing picture. Some have Likud neck-and-neck with Gantz's Blue and White party (a merging of the Israel Resilience Party and Yesh Atid), but with an advantage for the right-wing bloc. One poll had Likud bypassing Blue and White to lead the race once again by one or two Knesset seats. Survey results by top-rated pollsters Mina Tzemach and Manu Geva for Channel 12 news have Gantz pulling ahead of Netanyahu's Likud by an impressive four seats. None of the polls give the center-left bloc led by Gantz any prospects of overtaking Netanyahu's bloc.

But the 2015 elections taught pollsters and analysts that public opinion surveys are valid only for the moment, at best. Nonetheless, unlike the 2015 elections, this time Mr. Security Netanyahu is facing three former IDF chiefs (Gantz along with Ya'alon and Ashkenazi who have joined him), two highly regarded former major generals (Elazar Stern and Orna Barbivai), and the lean, well-oiled political machine Yair Lapid built for Yesh Atid. This is a completely new ballgame.



This is what Al Monitor says.

A political storm called Gantz

Ben Caspit April 5, 2019

Article Summary

Polls indicate that Blue and White leader Benny Gantz is getting closer and closer to toppling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the April 9 elections. Can he make it?

Gantz would come so close to replacing Benjamin Netanyahu as the prime minister of Israel. Many Israelis willing to give a kidney just to see Netanyahu pack his bags and vacate the official residence on Jerusalem's Balfour Street are now pinning their hopes on this gangly, introverted, shy and soft-spoken officer. Just over four years ago, this seemingly unimpressive man set out to find himself after a lifelong military career that took him to the pinnacle of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) as chief of staff. In December 2018, the retired lieutenant general formed a political party called the Israel Resilience Party, bringing the entire political establishment to its knees.

Among the many aspiring to Netanyahu's crown, Gantz became an odds-on favorite to achieve what no one had managed to do over the past decade. With his party overtaking Netanyahu's Likud, Gantz turned into the great white hope of the anti-Netanyahu camp. There were other wannabes for the title in the past, such as head of the centrist Yesh Atid party Yair Lapid, head of the right-wing Yisrael Beitenu party Avigdor Liberman and leader of the New Right party Naftali Bennett. Then there were former Likud Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and even the popular former IDF chief whom Gantz replaced in 2011, Lt. Gen. (res.) Gabi Ashkenazi. However, Ashkenazi, tarnished by scandal (the Harpaz affair) over a falsified document and ugly turf war, waited too long to decide; Liberman missed his chance in the 2015 elections; Bennett was trampled by Netanyahu's political machine and Lapid was unable to break through his glass ceiling. Benny Gantz, the man from nowhere, did it.

On the final days before the April 9 elections, the polls paint a confusing picture. Some have Likud neck-and-neck with Gantz's Blue and White party (a merging of the Israel Resilience Party and Yesh Atid), but with an advantage for the right-wing bloc. One poll had Likud bypassing Blue and White to lead the race once again by one or two Knesset seats. Survey results by top-rated pollsters Mina Tzemach and Manu Geva for Channel 12 news have Gantz pulling ahead of Netanyahu's Likud by an impressive four seats. None of the polls give the center-left bloc led by Gantz any prospects of overtaking Netanyahu's bloc.

But the 2015 elections taught pollsters and analysts that public opinion surveys are valid only for the moment, at best. Nonetheless, unlike the 2015 elections, this time Mr. Security Netanyahu is facing three former IDF chiefs (Gantz along with Ya'alon and Ashkenazi who have joined him), two highly regarded former major generals (Elazar Stern and Orna Barbivai), and the lean, well-oiled political machine Yair Lapid built for Yesh Atid. This is a completely new ballgame.



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Wednesday, 18 September 2019