Poll: Is the Israeli public tired of Netanyahu after 12 hours?

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

James Besser in Washington

This has to be one of the most jarring headlines in recent memory.

“54% of public dissatisfied with new government,” the online version of Ha’aretz  blared in its Wednesday morning edition (read the story here).

Why jarring?  How about this: it appeared less than twelve hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took office?  I mean, the paper didn’t even wait a full day before hitting Bibi with the depressing news that the public is tired of him and thinks he’s doing a lousy job, even though he hasn’t even received his first paycheck.

The reason he’s getting no honeymoon, according to the reporter, is because Netanyahu’s coalition includes “so many ministers and deputy ministers, or because so many of them have dubious portfolios.”

According to the poll, less than one-third of those surveyed said they were satisfied with the new government – which hasn’t actually done anything yet.

Does this tell you something about the political instability that has plagued recent Israeli governments?  How soon will it be before the Israeli press starts doing polls on the top contenders to succeed Netanyahu, who seems on his way out before he’s really even in?

And maybe we should start a betting pool: when will the label “lame duck” first be applied to the brand-new prime minister?

Does all this seem silly, or am I missing something?

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.