Trump Nix Gives Netanyahu Election Fix

YERUSHALAYIM -
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday. (Sergei Ilnitsky/Pool Photo via AP)

U.S. President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday night may have upset the Europeans and the Iranians, but it couldn’t have pleased the Israelis more.

A just-released poll indicates that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu—who vigorously backed and virtually predicted Pres. Trump’s adoption of his “fix or nix” formula—is now enjoying an unprecedented wave of popularity among the Israeli electorate.

If elections were held now, PM Netanyahu’s Likud party would win a whopping 42 seats, compared to its current 30 seats in the Knesset, according to a Geocartography poll reported on Army Radio on Wednesday.

That would put Likud in a dominant position, with more than twice as many seats as any other party in the 120-seat Knesset, a configuration not seen in decades. It would be the best showing by the Likud since Menachem Begin took 48 seats in 1981. Yitzhak Rabin led the Labor party to power in 1992 with 44 seats, and Labor hasn’t broken 40 since.

The survey was conducted right after Pres. Trump’s Tuesday announcement. If accurate, the new findings would wipe out the gains made by Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party, which was threatening to close the gap with the Likud as a strong No. 2 party, according to recent polls.

Yesh Atid would have 18 seats, compared to its current 11, making it a distant second. Zionist Camp would dwindle to 10 (from 24), Jewish Home would get 8 (down from 12), United Torah Judaism 9 (up from 6) and Shas would have 5 (down from 6).

As the results were only partial, other parties were not reported. In addition, the size of the sample and margin of error were not mentioned.