If one’s favored candidate – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – is trailing his rivals in the polls, why is it smart electoral politics to attack him every day for failing to keep his campaign promises?It’s not a speculative question. Settlers and right-wing groups, who presumably make up the core of Netanyahu’s base, have hammered him every day for the last week for failing to make good on his campaign pledge of bringing the issue of sovereignty over West Bank settlements to a vote now.But Netanyahu made that pledge before he knew that Washington wanted him to hold off on a sovereignty vote until after the March 2 election, something that is now less than 30 days away.It seems as of now that Netanyahu has decided to risk angering his right-wing voters rather than alienating his strongest diplomatic ally, US President Donald Trump.In a way, this choice between the settlers and Washington is an artificial dilemma that right-wing Likud voters have put Netanyahu in.It isn’t as if Trump is opposed to Israeli sovereignty over the settlements. He has simply asked Netanyahu to hold off for a few months.Certainly it would be worth the small risk to Netanyahu to stick to that timetable and execute sovereignty with US support rather than risk alienating Trump by voting on sovereignty in the winter rather than the spring or summer. If Washington fails to give the green light, Netanyahu could always decide to move forward regardless, having given the White House plenty of time to make good on its pledge of support. That kind of defiance would be more explainable later – after waiting in good faith – than now.It’s not certain that a sovereignty vote taken now would be legally binding. Already last summer Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit advised Netanyahu that it would be legally problematic for an interim government such as the one he heads to hold a sovereignty vote.So to attack Netanyahu now, over a vote that would be symbolically questionable at best, means taking an electoral risk for a gesture that in the end could prove to be meaningless.So why do it?THERE ARE those on the Right who have argued that they are helping Netanyahu, not harming him.This includes the settlers who set up a protest tent by the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem demanding sovereignty now.“We are united by our great love for Netanyahu and our appreciation for his leadership,” Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan told the media on Tuesday.The thinking is that a sovereignty vote now would energize the Right and give it a reason to head to the polls to vote for the man who had made sovereignty happen. It would show them that Netanyahu is a prime minister who kept his word, thereby removing doubt from their minds as to why not to vote for him.But if the sovereignty vote were to take place before the March 2 election, wouldn’t that be a reason for candidates to cross it off their list as a campaign issue, thereby giving them fewer reasons to support Netanyahu?And shouldn’t they already be energized by Netanyahu’s historic visit to Washington, in which Trump pledged US recognition for Israeli sovereignty over 30% of the West Bank and recognized a united Jerusalem when he unveiled his historic “Deal of the Century”?Under the details of that peace plan, the Trump administration’s vision of a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital has now been whittled to the fraction of east Jerusalem beyond the city’s security barrier.It was a diplomatic coup considered a mission impossible since Israel acquired the territory from Jordan during the 1967 Six Day War.Shouldn’t the settlers be arguing that Netanyahu has delivered on his campaign promise to secure US support for Israeli sovereignty over all the settlements, and that therefore he should be returned to office, so he can execute this sovereignty with US support? If he could produce the Washington miracle, why not sovereignty?Netanyahu has already made campaign videos based on this success, so it would be very easy for settlers to head to the streets with it.At reelection campaign rallies in Herzliya and Ra’anana, Netanyahu supporters greeted him with applause, whistles and chants of “King Bibi.”Talking to his supporters in Herzliya, Netanyahu said: “I have fought for this for over 25 years. We are not just talking about the application of sovereignty. It is the achievement of the Zionist dream. We have returned to this land; the places that were spoken of in the Bible now finally have received US recognition of their standing within sovereign Israel.”But in spite of the warmth of the Likud crowds, his Washington triumph has not helped Netanyahu in the polls. He continues to trail his chief rival, Blue and White Party head Benny Gantz, by anywhere from one to three seats.Which opens up the question in the minds of some of those pushing for sovereignty now, what if Netanyahu loses? What if Gantz is given the first chance to form a government and succeeds?In that scenario, they fear Gantz would not apply sovereignty and this historic moment would be lost.Alternatively, they worry Netanyahu may win on March 2 but form a coalition government with Gantz and then hold off on sovereignty until it is too late.This reasoning narrows the sovereignty window to fewer than 30 days. In a situation where Netanyahu might lose, the risk of the harm done by hammering at him in the last weeks of the campaign pales in comparison to losing the only sovereignty opportunity they might have.In that scenario, even a symbolic sovereignty vote would be better than no vote at all.