14:08 GMT27 September 2020
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    Israeli snap elections will take place unless Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demonstrates some significant progress in his politics, Israeli political commentator Avigdor Eskin told Sputnik, sharing his views on the incumbent prime minister's chances to win.

    There is a very high probability that incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will win snap elections, opines Israeli political commentator and publicist Avigdor Eskin.

    "His chances look today 99.99 per cent," the publicist told Sputnik. "He comes to the elections casting with very impressive results in every field possible."

    The calls for early elections followed the resignation of Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman on 14 November over the truce with Hamas, a Palestinian Islamist militant group.

    "What happened yesterday — the truce combined with the process with Hamas — is a capitulation to terror. It has no other meaning. What we're doing now as a state is buying short-term quiet, with the price being severe long-term damage to national security," Lieberman said, commenting on his decision to step down.

    "This is a price you pay for a parliamentary democracy," Eskin said, adding that the former defence minister's quitting was followed by the full withdrawal of his party from the ruling coalition. "Early elections will be possible, unless the government of Netanyahu will show some historic progress."

    Commenting on the row between Netanyahu and Lieberman, the Israeli publicist explained that "the decision to go for ceasefire with Hamas was very unpopular."

    "460 missiles were fired by Hamas targeting solely Israeli civilian objects, which was obviously a crime against humanity," Eskin underscored. "The government had many strategic reasons not to go for a large-scale operation in Gaza, but the public opinion was naturally negative about it. Lieberman did not want to take the hit for it and therefore resigned."

    The political commentator emphasised that "the elections are coming anyway" as they were initially scheduled to be held in November 2019.

    "This was the least of evils for Lieberman now," Eskin remarked. "But at the end he will lose in this situation."

    Although Lieberman's resignation has not deprived Netanyahu of the majority in the 120-seat Knesset, the Israeli parliament, it has reduced the ruling coalition to just 61 seats.

    Avigdor Lieberman, the head of hardline nationalist party Yisrael Beitenu, is seen during a ceremony in which he signed a coalition agreement with the Israeli prime minister at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem
    Avigdor Lieberman, the head of hardline nationalist party Yisrael Beitenu, is seen during a ceremony in which he signed a coalition agreement with the Israeli prime minister at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem

    Netanyahu and 'Wishful Thinking' of Israeli Media

    On 19 November, Haaretz's Chemi Shalev outlined "Top 12 reasons why Netanyahu will lose upcoming early elections."

    According to Shalev, Netanyahu has spoiled relations with everyone starting with the Israeli Left to the hardline Right and even Russia.

    "[Netanyahu] lost his mojo," claimed the Israeli journalist.

    He also presumed that Netanyahu's friendship with Trump may backfire on the Israeli prime minister: "In a development that many will view as poetic justice, his BFF in Washington, Donald Trump, could make things much worse for Netanyahu," Shalev noted referring to Donald Trump's much anticipated and long-delayed plan for Israel and Palestinians. According to the journalist, the plan will obviously require concessions from both sides, which could be rejected by the Israeli Right.

    "This is an excellent example of wishful thinking," Eskin said commenting on Shalev's op-ed. "The funny thing here is that the same Chemi Shalev wrote similar article four years ago under the same headline: 'Twelve reasons why Netanyahu may still lose the elections'. He wishes Netanyahu to lose and repeats the same as four years ago. This is not journalism. This is fake journalism."

    According to the publicist "these failed techniques of propaganda can serve as an explanation, why Netanyahu keeps winning."

    The views and opinions expressed by the contributors do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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