New Polling Indicates Surge in Support for Israeli PM’s Diplomatic Positions

New polling out of Israel indicates that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud-Beiteinu party has dramatically strengthened its electoral position.

One year after the elections that kept Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in power but resulted in a disappointing showing by his Likud-Beytenu list, the two-party alliance is seeing dramatic gains among likely voters. If elections were held today, Likud-Beytenu would rise by 15 Knesset seats from its current 31 to 46, a Times of Israel poll has found

Israeli politics are notoriously byzantine and the dynamics driving the boost are not straightforward to untangle, and the new numbers are being read alongside other polls that show Israelis siding with Netanyahu on diplomatic controversies in which the Israeli prime minister has parted ways with Western counterparts over specific initiatives. Regarding Iran, a recent poll shows that Israelis align with Netanyahu in distrusting the current round of Western engagement and talks with Iran, figures that are in line with a November poll finding broad skepticism regarding the then-ongoing Geneva talks.

Some 52.5% support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s position regarding tensions with the U.S. over Iran. A new survey has found that the majority of Jewish Israelis believes the government’s hard-line position regarding the Iranian threat is justified and that if need be, Israel is capable of mounting a unilateral strike on the Islamic republic’s nuclear facilities.

More than half of those interviewed — 52.5% — said they supported Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s position against the U.S. over the Iranian nuclear negotiations. The prime minister’s policy garnered support from participants across the political spectrum, and in all age groups and income brackets, with significant support noted especially in the religious sector (84.4%). Some 57.6% of those defining themselves as ultra-Orthodox said the supported Netanyahu’s policy on Iran as well.

Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, a recent poll found overwhelming support for maintaining a security presence along the border with Jordan in the context of a final comprehensive agreement. A report published last week by the Daily Beast disclosed that the Obama administration has established something of a lobbying presence inside Israel to “prepare the Israeli public” to make compromises to the Palestinians. The article specifically outlined efforts by the administration to mobilize support for an agreement that would exclude an Israeli security presence from around the Jordanian border.

[Photo: IsraeliPM / YouTube ]