Donald Trump wants Israeli voters to hire rather than fire Benjamin Netanyahu.
Israelis go to the polls on Tuesday to elect a new parliament, and Celebrity Apprentice host Donald Trump has given a strong YouTube endorsement (perhaps unsolicited) to the re-election of the country’s incumbent prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
In the video, Trump — an avowed “big fan of Israel” — says that Netanyahu is a terrific guy and a terrific leader and he is great for Israel.
Netanyahu is expected to easily win re-election although his party has apparently lost ground recently. In the final opinion polls (Israel does not allow polling less than four days before the election), the rightist alliance between Netanyahu’s Likud Party and the Yisrael Beiteinu party is projected to win about 33 seats in the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) according to the Jerusalem Post. The left-wing Labor Party is expected to get approximately 17 seats. Netanyahu is facing a strong challenge on the right from his former chief of staff, Naftali Bennett, 40, a software entrepreneur and ex-army commando. Bennett’s Jewish Home Party is coming on strong and is projected to win about 13 seats. The remaining seats will be split among various minor parties.
If Netanyahu’s alliance wins, “the 63-year-old will become Israel’s longest-serving prime minister since David Ben-Gurion, its founding father,” the Economist observes.
The Knesset has 120 members, so it will be necessary for Netanyahu, if he wins, to form coalitions with various smaller parties to forge a national unity government. The Guardian points out that “There are 34 parties competing for 120 seats” and “no party has ever won an overall majority, so every government in Israel’s history has been a coalition.”
Do you think Donald Trump’s endorsement helps or hurts the prime minister or is it irrelevant to the outcome?