Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Gains Popularity Amid Gaza War, Polls Show

Two recent polls indicate that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is experiencing a surge in political support despite pressure from Democrats in the United States and left-wing protests in Israel calling for new elections and a change in government.

According to a survey conducted by Israel’s Channel 12, Netanyahu outpolled his main rival, Benny Gantz, for the first time since the war against Hamas began in October. When asked who is better suited to serve as prime minister, 36% of respondents chose Netanyahu, while 30% selected Gantz. The poll, conducted on Wednesday, surveyed 500 voters representing a cross-section of Israeli society and had a margin of error of 4.4%.

These results were corroborated by another poll from Israel’s Channel 14, which found that Netanyahu’s Likud Party is gaining strength and would receive 27 seats in Israel’s 120-seat Knesset if an election were held today. Gantz’s party, on the other hand, would only secure 19 seats. The poll also showed that right-wing parties would be able to form a bloc of 58 seats, while left-wing parties would have 52 seats, and Arab parties would hold the remaining 10.

The main reason for Netanyahu’s rising popularity appears to be the Israeli public’s support for his policies of defeating Hamas and refusing to allow the creation of a Palestinian state as a result of the war, as doing so could be seen as rewarding the terror attack of October 7.

Ironically, the Biden administration’s opposition to Israel’s military operation to destroy the last Hamas battalions in the city of Rafah and its insistence on the creation of a Palestinian state have strengthened Netanyahu’s position domestically.