Netanyahu’s Popularity Rises in Israel Despite International Pressure and Domestic Protests

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is experiencing a resurgence in political support, according to two recent polls, despite facing pressure from Democrats in the United States and left-wing protests in Israel demanding new elections and a change in government.

A survey conducted by Israel’s Channel 12 found that Netanyahu outpolled his main rival, Benny Gantz, for the first time since the war against Hamas began in October. The poll, which surveyed 500 voters representing a cross-section of Israeli society, revealed that 36% of respondents believed Netanyahu was better suited to serve as prime minister, compared to 30% who chose Gantz.

These findings were echoed by another poll from Israel’s Channel 14, which showed Netanyahu’s Likud Party gaining strength and potentially securing 27 seats in Israel’s 120-seat Knesset if an election were held today. Gantz’s party, in comparison, would only receive 19 seats. The poll also indicated that right-wing parties would be able to form a bloc of 58 seats, while left-wing parties would have 52 seats, and Arab parties would hold the remaining 10.

The Israeli public’s support for Netanyahu’s policies of defeating Hamas and refusing to allow the creation of a Palestinian state as a result of the war appears to be the primary reason for his rising popularity. Many Israelis believe that rewarding the terror attack of brutal terrorist attack of Oct. 7 with the establishment of a Palestinian state would be misguided.

Interestingly, the Biden administration’s opposition to Israel’s military operation in Rafah and its insistence on the creation of a Palestinian state have unintentionally bolstered Netanyahu’s position domestically, despite efforts by President Joe Biden and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to push for a change in Israeli leadership.

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