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    A worker installs a campaign poster of Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a billboard in Tel Aviv March 10, 2015

    Facing Defeat, Benjamin Netanyahu Launches Media Blitz to Stay in Power

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    Israeli General Election 2015 (52)
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    Going into the last weekend before the pivotal elections in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pulling out all the stops and launching a huge media blitz to try to save himself from being shown the door by Israeli voters.

    The last poll of the campaign was released on Friday and shows rival party Zionist Union gaining more seats in the Israeli parliament than Netanyahu’s Likud Party.

    Israeli law prohibits polls from being published less than four days before an election, so the next set of numbers would be exit polls on Election Day next Tuesday.

    People shout slogans during a rally in Rabin's square in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, March 7, 2015. Tens of thousands of Israelis are gathering at a Tel Aviv square under the banner Israel wants change and calling for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be replaced in March 17 national elections.
    People shout slogans during a rally in Rabin's square in Tel Aviv, Israel, Saturday, March 7, 2015. Tens of thousands of Israelis are gathering at a Tel Aviv square under the banner "Israel wants change" and calling for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to be replaced in March 17 national elections.

    In an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 TV, Netanyahu repeated earlier claims that he is a victim of a "vast worldwide conspiracy" to oust him, saying that "tens of millions of dollars" had been channeled from "European states" and from "left wingers overseas" to defeat him.  "There are governments that oppose me and want to bring down the right," he said, without giving specifics.

    Interestingly enough, while the prime minister rails against a foreign conspiracy against him, 90% of Netanyahu’s campaign funds comes from overseas – the United States specifically — according to the Israeli State Comptroller’s Office. And most of the American funds come from just a handful of families in California and Florida, including the founders of the American Eagle clothing chain, reports BuzzFeed.

    Netanyahu had been running neck-and-neck with Zionist Union leader Issac Herzog, but numbers started to shift toward Herzog when Netanyahu traveled to the US to give a speech in Congress blasting any agreement with Iran over nuclear weapons. Most Israelis were against the trip.

    His popularity waned even more when he became embroiled in a domestic scandal over improper use of public funds, such as spending $18,000 on takeout meals and $20,000 a month for a cleaning lady at his private residence.

    Should Netanyahu lose on Tuesday, Herzog would be prime minister for the first two years, followed by former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Zionist Union leader Tzipi Livni for the remaining two years of the four-year term.

     

     

    Topic:
    Israeli General Election 2015 (52)

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    Tags:
    Zionist Union, Likud, American Eagle Clothing, Issac Herzog, Tzipi Livni, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel, Israeli elections
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