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Survey: Young Israelis Want To Keep Benjamin Netanyahu As Prime Minister

Israel’s upcoming national election takes place on April 9. And as The Daily Wire reported in late February, longtime Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces what is likely the toughest reelection thus far of his political career:

On Thursday, Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced that his office would be formally indicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on one count of bribery and two counts of fraud and breach of trust. The indictments pertain to three different cases that spanned two years of investigations.

The timing of the indictments gives off the perception of potential political motivation — Israel will hold national elections on April 9, and Netanyahu is currently triangulating an episode of turmoil and pushback that has followed his controversial decision to welcome fringe party Otzma Yehudit into his possible right-of-center governing coalition. …

Due to the longstanding nature of Mandelblit’s investigations, as long as the common perception that Mandelblit harbors left-of-center political proclivities that cut in favor of Israel’s political establishment and cut against Netanyahu’s continued national leadership, the indictment’s timing near the Israeli election was expected by many.

Current polling shows Netanyahu’s Likud party in essentially a dead heat with its main opposition, the “Blue and White” alliance led by Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid.

Outside observers might think that part of Netanyahu’s political problem is that he has simply led for too long. After all, he has been Israel’s prime minister since 2009 — and even this is his second stint as prime minister, following his shorter tenure from 1996-1999. And while some Israelis may indeed be supporting “Blue and White” due to a reflexive desire for change, a new Times of Israel report indicates that a perhaps surprising demographic is strongly sticking with Netanyahu: youngsters.

Incumbent prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is Israelis’ preferred candidate for premier over rival Benny Gantz, but not by much, a pre-election survey by the Israel Democracy Institute has found.

Netanyahu is favored by 42.5 percent of Israelis, while Blue and White leader Gantz is preferred by 40.5%.

But Netanyahu’s great advantage lies in his appeal among the young, the poll found. The older the age group polled, the more likely they were to prefer Gantz.

Among Israelis 65 and older, Gantz beat Netanyahu 53% to 35%. Among those 18-24, however, Netanyahu beat Gantz by a nearly 50-point margin of 65% to 17%.

In the 25- to 34-year-old group, Netanyahu wins 54%-33%. Among 35- to 44-year-olds, Netanyahu wins 64%-24%, while in the 45-54 and 55-64 age bracket, Gantz edges ahead at 48%-46% and 47%-41%, respectively.

Curiously, then, a cursory look at Israeli voting patterns seems to indicate somewhat of a reversal from voting patterns in the U.S. In Israel, the older one gets, according to The Times of Israel’s cited Israel Democracy Institute survey, the likelier one is to support “Blue and White.” But “Blue and White” is running as a centrist alliance, in contradistinction to Netanyahu’s firmly right-of-center Likud. One possible reason for this is that an older generation of Israeli voters may have a vestigial sympathy toward the misbegotten Oslo Accords, whereas younger Israelis — who have grown up in the era of the First and Second Intifadas — know nothing but obstinate rejectionism and (oftentimes) open jihadist violence from the Palestinian-Arab population.

In any event, Netanyahu’s political fate will be sealed next week, shortly before the commencement of the Jewish holiday of Passover.

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