According to a new poll, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his party are losing popularity among Israeli people at an unprecedented rate, a situation that can lead to the end of Netanyahu’s political career.
As the war in Gaza continues, Israel is also feeling the consequences today more than yesterday. A newly-conducted poll by Hebrew daily Maariv revealed this Friday that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is losing his public support like never before. The poll showed that public support for Netanyahu has dropped to 31 percent, the lowest in Netanyahu’s political career.
“If elections were held today, Netanyahu’s Likud party would lose two parliamentary seats, dropping to 18, and the ultranationalist Religious Zionism party would gain four seats. Meanwhile, former Defense Minister and Israel’s National Unity party leader Benny Gantz was shown to be the national favorite to lead as Prime Minister, with his party potentially winning 38 Knesset seats,” the poll said.
It also revealed that nearly 80 percent of Israelis agree that Netanyahu should take public responsibility for the intelligence and security failures that led to the success of Hamas’ operation. A poll released before October 7 attack, back in April, also had indicated that a majority of Israelis were fearful of the future of the State of Israel under Netanyahu’s leadership.
Netanyahu’s decline in popularity has significantly taken pace since the beginning of the war between Israel and Hamas on October 7. Following the news, Israel’s opposition leader and former premier Yair Lapid issued a statement and rebuked Netanyahu for his misleading of the war with Hamas, calling on him to resign from his job.
“Netanyahu needs to go now during the fighting. This government isn’t functioning […] we need change. Netanyahu cannot continue to be prime minister. We cannot allow ourselves to conduct a prolonged campaign with a prime minister that the public has no faith in,” Lapid also said.
The alarming decrease in Netanyahu’s popularity has also shown itself in action. Back on November 4, thousands of demonstrators gathered outside of Netanyahu’s home in Jerusalem, calling for his resignation and chanting “Jail now!” against him.
Netanyahu’s popularity will do even downer if the war continues
Results of the Friday poll showed only the tip of the iceberg for Netanyahu, and if the war continues, it is feared that he will lose popularity even more. This is true because of the fact that Israelis have suffered a lot during the war. Latest figures from Israel’s Population and Immigration Authority cited by Hebrew newspaper The Times of Israel revealed that almost half a million Israelis have fled Israel since the onset of the war with Hamas on October 7.
“About 470,000 Israelis have left since the beginning of the war, and it is unclear if they will return or not,” the report said, adding also that there has been recorded a significant decline, around 70 percent, in the number of Jews immigrating to Israel as well.” In November, 2,000 Jewish immigrants arrived in Israel compared to the 4,500 coming each month since the start of the year.
In the battlefield, too, the situation is worrying for Israel. Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed branch of an Islamic movement in Palestine, announced in a statement this Friday that its fighters had completely or partially destroyed 79 Israeli military vehicles in Gaza City over a 72-hour period, also killing at least two Israeli soldiers.
“Our fighters have booby-trapped a tunnel entrance in the Sheikh Radwan area, and as soon as an Israeli force advanced on it, it was blown up. As a result, members of the Israeli force were killed and wounded,” the group said in the statement.