Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signaled on Sunday for the first time that he is liable to move up Israel’s elections from next year to this year.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signaled on Sunday for the first time that he is liable to move up Israel’s elections from next year to this year to take advantage of his lead in opinion polls over the country’s fractured opposition.
Though Mr. Netanyahu’s record of sounding the alarm about a nuclear Iran is likely to figure prominently in his campaign because it plays to his strength as a security hawk, early elections would make it less likely that the prime minister would order a preemptive attack on Iran because it risks igniting regional war that could endanger his popularity, analysts said.
"Netanyahu knows that he enjoys a relatively high and stable popularity, and it’s a good time to [hold elections] when his rivals are seen as unprepared," says Aviv Bushinsky, a former advisor to Netanyahu who believes early elections will happen. "So why should he risk it by attacking, what if it fails? He doesn’t need to do something extreme to win the elections."