Netanyahu Keeps Winning Because His Opponents Lack a Vision for Israel

Netanyahu Keeps Winning Because His Opponents Lack a Vision for Israel
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waves to supporters after polls for Israel’s general elections closed in Tel Aviv, Israel, April 10, 2019 (AP photo by Ariel Schalit).

JERUSALEM—At 10 p.m. on election night on April 9, as polling stations were closing all over Israel, Channel 12 News, the country’s most popular newscast, predicted a tie between the two major political blocs. It looked like Benny Gantz, the former chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces who had entered the fray just four months earlier, was set to unseat Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister.

Buoyed by the fact that a tie should work in his favor, as no center-left parties were willing to join a Netanyahu government, while a couple of parties on the right had not explicitly ruled out backing Gantz as premier, Gantz quickly took to the stage and delivered a victory speech to a crowd of delighted supporters. As he thanked Netanyahu for his years of service and announced his intention to become “everyone’s prime minister,” many Israelis scratched their heads in bewilderment. The exit polls of the other two newscasts predicted a clear majority for Netanyahu, and Gantz’s speech—obviously intended to take control of the media narrative—seemed premature, at best.

As the hours passed, it became clear that Gantz’s victory had been short-lived. Apparently, Likud voters had deliberately lied on Channel 12’s exit poll to throw what the party derides as the liberal media off-base. Shortly after 2 a.m., as the official results began to roll in, a smirking Netanyahu delivered his own victory speech. This time, it was real.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review