Re­port pre­dicts Ne­tanyahu ‘gone in 2018’

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY MICHAEL DAVENTRY FOR­EIGN EDI­TOR

ISRAEL IS ex­tremely likely to hold a gen­eral elec­tion in 2018, one year ahead of sched­ule, ac­cord­ing to the ad­vo­cacy group and think-tank Bi­com.

In a re­port out­lin­ing its pre­dic­tions for the Mid­dle East, the think-tank said Is­raeli gov­ern­ments “rarely” saw out their full five-year terms and the long­est-serv­ing ones in re­cent decades had col­lapsed some­time into their fourth year.

The last Knes­set elec­tion was in 2015. Bi­com’s re­port said the par­ties’ en­thu­si­asm for a poll was low but al­le­ga­tions of cor­rup­tion sur­round­ing Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu could change the mood.

In his own re­marks for the re­port, Michael Ko­plow from the Israel Pol­icy Fo­rum pre­dicted 2018 would be Mr Ne­tanyahu’s fi­nal year in of­fice. “Israel will see its first new prime min­ster in nearly a decade,” he wrote. “The in­ves­ti­ga­tions into Prime Min­is­ter Ne­tanyahu are likely to cul­mi­nate later this year in a po­lice rec­om­men­da­tion to in­dict him.

“This will ei­ther lead the Likud to force him to step aside in favour of a new party leader, or lead Ne­tanyahu to take the coun­try to elec­tions in an ef­fort to fore­stall an in­dict­ment, which will re­sult in a new coali­tion headed by Yair Lapid.”

Mr Lapid leads the cen­trist Yesh Atid, an op­po­si­tion party that once part­nered Mr Ne­tanyahu in gov­ern­ment.

Bi­com also low­ered ex­pec­ta­tions that 2018 would be the year Don­ald Trump’s ad­min­is­tra­tion suc­ceeds in bro­ker­ing a peace deal be­tween Israel and the Pales­tini­ans.

PHOTO: FLASH 90

Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu

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