Israeli Prime Ministerwill submit a bill in the Knesset plenum on Monday, requesting to dissolve the current Knesset. The prime minister announced early elections on Tuesday, as his coalition government would not be able to pass the budget for 2013. The step was welcomed by all political parties. He also announced to hold elections within next three months, but the exact date has not been announced yet. As it is the prerogative of the government to announce the exact date for general elections in the country, the prime minister has started consultations with leaders of different political parties, including leaders of the opposition.
So, let’s see what comes up in the next couple of days. What are the factors that have forced Benjamin Netanyahu to announce early elections in Israel? A number of discerning observers based here in New York City opine that the prime minister appears confident enough to clinch re-election. They say that Netanyahu is hopeful for his re-election to the office and that is the only reason for his announcement for early elections in the country. The prime minister feels that now he is at his best in the politics; therefore, it is the right time to go to the public to seek reelection on the basis of his successful policies on different fronts. Rivals of Netanyahu—Shaul Mofaz,and Yair Lapid—appear comparatively weak and inexperienced.
However, the real popularity of Netanyahu will be judged the day he leaves the office and starts his election campaign. No doubt, Netanyahu has appeared as a successful politician on the landscape of Israel and handled different delicate issues of security and economy wisely. In his speech on Tuesday, he said (rightly so) that Israel under his leadership got strengthened on security and economic fronts and therefore people should vote for him. Will people do so? We can only speculate at the moment, as politics is a day-to-day affair and nothing can be said with surety. We can say that there are certain aspects that can win Netanyahu re-election to the office.
Election campaigns of the candidates will be largely focused on Iran’s nuclear program and the economic situation of Israel. Though all political parties and leaders have almost the same stance on Iran’s controversial nuclear program, Netanyahu’s policies may come under scrutiny. The prime minister and his defense minister,, were once active enough and busy building public opinion in favor of Israel’s military attack on the nuclear facilities of Iran, but at the last moment, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) chiefs denied to go for the adventure. Israelis are concerned about the security of the state and Netanyahu can clinch support of the people by highlighting his steps to make Israel invincible in case of any attack from Iran or any other country.