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Can Israel's opposition leader challenge Netanyahu?

With Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu up again in the polls, Zionist Camp leader Isaac Herzog needs to present to the public a coherent and clear political program in order to defeat him.
Isaac Herzog leader of Zionist Union, gesture as as he delivers a statement at the party headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel, May 18, 2016. REUTERS/Baz Ratner - RTSEWFI
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In the shadow of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s campaign to destroy public broadcasting, his Likud Party received 26 mandates in a poll published Nov. 4 on the Israeli Public Radio (Kol Israel). Thus, the Likud returned to the top position as the largest party in the polls, after it trailed behind Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid in September. Without discounting the rise of Lapid, who for months now has enjoyed polls that predict 20 or more mandates for him (if elections were held today), we should linger on Netanyahu’s accomplishment here.

In contrast to the fluctuation of other parties in the polls since the election — the fall of the Zionist Camp and Kulanu Party and the rise of Yesh Atid, Yisrael Beitenu and HaBayit HaYehudi — Netanyahu and the Likud have succeeded in maintaining a solid base of supporters. It would not be unfounded to assume that when Netanyahu watched reports about the successful rally the Zionist Camp organized Nov. 6 to mark 21 years to former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination, he wasn’t too concerned. According to the organizers, about 70,000 people participated in the rally in Tel Aviv. Even if this estimate is a bit inflated, there is no doubt it was a successful political rally for the center-left camp.

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