Despite–or perhaps because of–the outrage of the Obama administration and left-wing Democrats in Congress, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party continue to surge in Israeli polls, reaching their widest lead of the election thus far, according to a Jerusalem Post/Maariv Sof Hashavua poll. The poll, which shows Likud leading its closest rival by four seats in the 120-seat Knesset, is the widest lead that the Likud has enjoyed leading up to the Mar. 17 election.
In addition, the Post notes, “For the first time since Netanyahu initiated the election on December 2, the proportion of respondents saying they want him to remain prime minister was higher than those saying they want him replaced, 46-45 percent.” The Likud surge is reflected in other polls. Of six polls released in the past two days, according to Jeremy’s Knesset Insider, four show Likud in the lead, one shows it tied with ZIonist Union, and one shows it behind by one seat.
Netanyahu and the Likud received a boost during the border clashes with Hezbollah last week. However, the controversy surrounding Netanyahu’s speech before a joint session of the U.S. Congress next month seems to be helping him as well. While Democrats have charged Netanyahu with seeking to use the speech to boost his election prospects, the Israeli press has focused on alleged efforts by former Obama aides to use U.s taxpayer funds to promote Netanyahu’s political rivals.
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