A weekend rally calling to replace Benjamin Netanyahu as Israel’s leader in the upcoming elections drew an estimated 50,000 participants. At the same time, a national survey showed that a majority of Israelis accept that Netanyahu will remain their prime minister.
The Saturday evening rally in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square featured a lineup of speakers denouncing Netanyahu over the difficult economic situation in which most Israelis find themselves and the collapse of the peace process with the Palestinians.
“We have a leader who fights only one campaign — the campaign for his own political survival,” asserted keynote speaker and former Mossad chief Meir Dagan, who further claimed that Israel had “never been more stuck than in the six years” of Netanyahu’s premiership.
Dagan and the other speakers ignored entirely the Palestinians’ own culpability in the present situation.
While a vocal and growing minority is determined to oust Netanyahu, and polls show his Likud neck-and-neck with the opposition Zionist Union faction, a weekend survey commissioned by Channel 10 found that most Israelis still view Netanyahu as the best candidate for prime minister.
A 52 percent majority said Netanyahu will almost certainly be tasked with forming the next government, while only 25 percent said the same of Zionist Union chief Isaac Herzog.
Thirty-four percent said they prefer a Likud-led right-wing government including the religious Jewish parties. Just 14 percent want a government led by Herzog, and a mere 9 percent approved of a national unity government under which Netanyahu and Herzog would share the premiership.
A 35 percent plurality said they would prefer another unspecified government make-up.