Will Israel’s Netanyahu Win Re-Election?

Israelis are back at the polls on Tuesday, barely two years after their last national election.

By Rhonda FanningMarch 16, 2015 10:08 pm|

Current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trailing in the polls behind the Zionist Union, the center-left leading opposition party. Voters will be deciding on 120 parliamentary seats.

Based on those results, Netanyahu and his Likud party may maintain power or a new leader will be chosen.

Jodi Rudoren, Jerusalem bureau chief of The New York Times, reported on Monday that Netanyahu “doubled down on his appeal to right-wing voters, declaring definitively that if he was returned to office he would never establish a Palestinian state.”

The Texas Standard speaks with Meir Shlomo, Israel’s consul general to the U.S. Southwest, based in Houston.

On what he will be looking for on election day:

“What you really have to watch in this election is not necessarily who will be the biggest party, but which party has the best chances of putting a coalition together. In that sense, the whole coalition to the right seems to be losing a little bit. If you look at the last polls that were done three days ago it looks like the center-left coalition is winning a little bit. But the question is whether or not that is enough to have a different government all together. ”

Why it matters to Texans:

“I think it’s largely an internal matter. However saying that, there’s a big Jewish community in Texas that is very keenly interested. … We have no less than 60 Israeli companies that are operating here in Texas, creating a lot of jobs for Texans – mainly in the Dallas area and San Antonio area.”

On Netanyahu’s speech to Congress:

“Whatever difference of opinions that we had there is a nothing but a slight bump in the relationship between Israel and the United States. This relationship is not only political expediency, this is two countries that have shared values, that a have very strong affinity between the people of the countries. The policy makers from both countries, when they wake up in the morning, they see the same world, and basically the same solutions.”