Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is enjoying a surge in the latest opinion polls of Israeli voters. The Jerusalem Post reports that its latest poll shows Bibi’s party, the Likud, is leading the race for the first time in weeks. Other polls agree, and show the Likud leading its rival, the Zionist Union, which is a combination of the Labor and Hatnua parties.
The Post attributes Netanyahu’s improved showing to the cross-border conflict with Hezbollah, which attacked Israeli soldiers earlier this week, killing two. The attack was a retaliation, likely orchestrated by Iran, for Israel’s strike on a Hezbollah convoy in the Syrian Golan Heights earlier this month, in which an Iranian brigadier general was also killed.
However, this is also a week in which Netanyahu has been the target of withering criticism from the American and Israeli left over his decision to accept Speaker of the House John Boehner’s invitation to address Congress in March. If that has harmed Netanyahu, it has not prevented him from taking the lead–and it may even have rallied Israeli voters around him.
Netanyahu has long led widely in polls that ask Israeli voters which candidate would be the best prime minister. However, Israelis vote for parties, not for candidates. If Likud does not win Mar. 17, Netanyahu could be ousted. On the other hand, polls show that the coalition of parties opposing Netanyahu is losing badly to the coalition that might restore him to power.
Senior Editor-at-Large Joel B. Pollak edits Breitbart California and is the author of the new ebook, Wacko Birds: The Fall (and Rise) of the Tea Party, available for Amazon Kindle.
Follow Joel on Twitter: @joelpollak