Tags: America's Forum | Israel | benjamin netanyahu | danny ayalon | israel | election

Danny Ayalon: Netanyahu Has 'Marked Edge' Over Opposition

By    |   Tuesday, 17 Mar 2015 12:31 PM

Despite some political pundits counting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu out, the position is his to lose, former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Danny Ayalon told Newsmax TV on Tuesday, as Israelis cast their votes in the national election.

"In our system, which is a proportional system, you have to build a coalition. So it's not the largest party who becomes the prime minister, but it's the one who can have the largest coalition," Ayalon said during an appearance on "America’s Forum."

"Mr. Netanyahu still has a marked edge over his opposition," he said. "Now the outcome could be of the national unity government, whereby Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. [Isaac] Herzog will form a national unity.  ... The one question is, will they have to rotate for the prime minister position? And that will depend on the exact result."

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"If there is a substantial lead of Herzog over Netanyahu, I see rotation. If not, then Netanyahu will be the prime minister, and I could see Mr. Herzog becoming the next deputy prime minister," Ayalon said.

While seen as strong on national defense, Netanyahu is vulnerable when it comes to the economy, particularly due to the high cost of living and housing issues in the Jewish state, according to Ayalon. Netanyahu’s chief opponent is Herzog, a left-center candidate with the Zionist Union party.

"We'll have to wait and see," he said. "What I hear from Israel right now is that the turnout is very high, which also works for the left-of-center party because usually when the turnout is low … that works for the right."

The Israeli people would object to any interference by American political operatives in the election, a topic that has made news over the past few months, Ayalon said.

In January, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that a team of President Barack Obama’s political operatives had arrived to help the opposition oust Netanyahu. The team touched down days after the White House complained about Netanyahu's decision to address Congress over Iran’s nuclear program.

"If there was any kind of foreign interference, even if it's from our best friends, that would not reflect very well," Ayalon said. "It would just have the backlash.

"Israelis, like any other democratic people, do not like any foreign interference when it comes to their own political decisions."

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Despite some political pundits counting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu out, the position is his to lose, former Israeli Ambassador to the United States Danny Ayalon told Newsmax TV on Tuesday, as Israelis cast their votes in the national election.
benjamin netanyahu, danny ayalon, israel, election
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2015-31-17
Tuesday, 17 Mar 2015 12:31 PM
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