Not all bleak for Netanyahu

Normally when an Israeli prime minister embarks on a military operation, he has to choose between taking steps that the public wants taken and doing what the international community wants him to do.

August 30, 2014 01:35
2 minute read.
Netanyahu at cabinet meeting

Netanyahu at cabinet meeting. (photo credit: EMIL SALMAN/POOL)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Netanyahu normally takes a vacation to the Galilee during August. The month is about to end, and he obviously has not been able to indulge himself.

Netanyahu has had a tough month.

Normally when an Israeli prime minister embarks on a military operation, he has to choose between taking steps that the public wants taken and doing what the international community wants him to do.

Netanyahu limited the IDF to measured steps in Gaza that according to the polls did not satisfy Israelis, yet he received no credit from the international community for holding back. He has faced harsh criticism from both, inside and outside.

US President Barack Obama wanted him to end the operation prematurely, Britain toyed with a partial arms embargo, and the United Nations Human Rights Council appointed the latest version of its usual kangaroo court to investigate Israel and whitewash Hamas.

On the Right, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman condemned Netanyahu for making a deal with Hamas. On the Left, opposition leader Isaac Herzog called him the prime minister of gloom.

For a prime minister who is said to take polls seriously, the surveys are as bad as can be. According to Channel 2’s poll, he fell from an 82 percent satisfaction rate at the peak of the operation on July 23 to only 32%.

Channel 10’s poll found that 75% of Israelis believe he should have toppled Hamas. When asked if they felt more secure personally due to the operation, 60% said they felt less secure and only 19% said more.

The prime minister’s messages about how Israel vanquished its enemies and won the war have obviously not sunk through.

Despite all that, Netanyahu does not need to worry. He just needs to work.

If he succeeds in getting life back in order in the South, starting school on time across the country, and preventing rocket and mortar fire for an extended period, public opinion will improve.

The Knesset will remain on its extended summer and holiday break until October 27. When it finally returns, it will focus on passing the 2015 state budget and on matters of religion and state.

Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett has toned down his rhetoric. Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid said none of the coalition parties has an interest in expediting elections.

And the focus of the international community has already left Gaza for Iraq, Syria and Ukraine.

So Netanyahu still cannot relax. But it is not all bleak for Bibi.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN