November 29, 2006

Netanyahu, the next PM?

It looks like Binyamin Netanyahu could be the next Prime Minister of Israel according to AngusReid. And this in spite of being questioned by police over the funding of opinion polls on his own behalf by way of the public purse:
The Likud party maintains a large advantage in Israel, according to a poll by Teleseker published in Maariv. The results suggest Likud, led by former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, would secure 29 seats in the next election to the Knesset.

The governing Kadima party of prime minister Ehud Olmert would finish second with 18 mandates, followed by Israel Our Home under Avigdor Lieberman with 14 seats, the Labour party of Amir Peretz with 12 mandates, and the International Organization of Torah-observant Sephardic Jews (Shas) with 10 seats.

In March, Israeli voters renewed the Knesset. Kadima, founded by former prime minister Ariel Sharon and led by Olmert, secured 29 seats. Labour, the Retired People’s Party (Gil) and Shas joined Kadima in a coalition. Last month, the Israeli cabinet approved the addition of Israel Our Home to the government. Olmert’s coalition now has the support of 78 of the Knesset’s 120 members.

Yesterday, Netanyahu was questioned by the International Fraud Investigation Unit over alleged wrongdoing in connection with public opinion polls. The Likud leader issued a statement, claiming he paid for the surveys—conducted on his behalf by former Education Ministry employee Yaakov Katz—out of his own pocket.
Could this be described as lurching to the right? The only difference between Israeli governments seems to be what they say rather than what they do.

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