His party is expected to garner the most votes in the upcoming election on Tuesday, so how is it that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may not be considered the clear winner after Tuesday's results?
Though Netanyahu’s Likud party will likely win the most seats on March 23 – he is currently polling at 30 – the number of parties willing to support him as prime minister is dwindling and this is narrowing his path to build a coalition with him as premier.
“You would think Netanyahu would be winning in a landslide,” ALL ISRAEL NEWS Editor-in-Chief Joel Rosenberg said in an interview on Real America’s Voice.
“He persuaded President (Donald) Trump to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem; to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel; to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, to sell us F-35s stealth fighter jets; to help broker four Arab-Israeli peace treaties in which Netanyahu was heavily involved. This is Nobel prize territory.”
Rosenberg told host David Brody that while outsiders see the great foreign policy strides that Israel has made in the last few years, Israelis are looking domestically at a severe mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic and thousands of lost jobs and closed businesses.
“Of late, Netanyahu has done a great job of getting vaccines into Israel and 90% of Israelis who are eligible and want to get the vaccine are now vaccinated. That’s pretty impressive. And we’re seeing our death rates and infection rates drop,” Rosenberg said. “But he has badly handled the economy. He hasn’t passed a budget in over a year, choosing to go to elections instead of signing a budget.”
With soaring unemployment and 7,000 businesses having gone bankrupt in the past year, Israelis are angry with the government and this will likely be reflected at the voting booth, Rosenberg said.
“The left wing hates him, but more and more right-wing and center-right leaders are saying, ‘Enough!’ They’ve sort of had it with him,” Rosenberg explained. “Yes, there’s the corruption cases, but it is more his style of management. And more and more of them are saying, ‘We will never serve in a government with you, Netanyahu.’”
Brody also asked Rosenberg whether Israel is obligated to vaccinate Palestinians, as some American politicians are alleging.
“This is a red herring by the far-left wing in Congress,” Rosenberg said.
He explained that under the Oslo Accords, the Palestinian Authority became responsible for all healthcare of its people and created a Ministry of Health and that they should be the ones paying for vaccines for their people just as Israel did.
“They have the money – they are paying terrorists,” Rosenberg said of the Palestinian pay-for-slay program that rewards the families of those who kill Israelis in terror attacks.
Israel is, however, vaccinating Palestinians who work in Israel.
Rosenberg also addressed the implementation of the “green passport” in Israel, which is controversial in the United States as it restricts access to various venues for people without a valid digital vaccine certificate.
“Israel has not required people to get the vaccination. Almost 90% have said they want to get it. But what Israel has said is you can either be vaccinated or get tested every few days,” he said, also defending Israel’s severe restrictions during the pandemic. “The challenge is they’re not really setting up thousands of testing centers.”
“More Israelis have died of COVID than in the last 20 years of war and terror here. So it is a real issue,” he said, but “there are some civil liberties involved.”
Watch the full interview here.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.