Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu appears undaunted by recent polls that show his Likud party sagging, with projections of less than 30 Knesset seats in the March election, down from 33, and an uncertain path to a coalition.
At a meeting with independent business owners Wednesday night, Netanyahu predicted that Likud will clear 40 seats and he’ll sail on to a new ruling majority.
He said he’ll get “forty, forty-two seats. How? With one factor — the coronavirus. The coronavirus lowers [me] when it rises and the coronavirus brings me up when it goes down. We’ll pass 60 seats” this time, he said in a video aired by Channel 12.
The prime minister has taken a personal hand in obtaining ample early supplies of coronavirus vaccinations from Pfizer and Moderna, which has put Israel ahead of other countries in vaccination per capita.
On Thursday, he arrived in Ramle for a photo-op with a local teacher who became the two millionth Israeli to be inoculated.
It is hoped that the current nationwide lockdown will be sufficient to damp down the infection rate until the vaccination campaign runs its course and economic recovery is under way by Election Day, March 23.