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Paltry bump for Lapid after Gaza op shows Israelis’ ‘electoral identity’ is baked in

16 6 26

Last weekend, Israel launched Operation Breaking Dawn against Palestinian Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip. Though not as dramatic as past rounds, the operation saw over a thousand rockets, mortars and missiles fired from Gaza at Israel, and close to 200 Islamic Jihad targets struck by the IDF. The media of course provided round-the-clock coverage of the mini-war and those leading it.

It would be logical to expect this to have a significant impact on a hotly contested election campaign, in one direction or another.

Would it strengthen Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party, proving he has the mettle to be PM and deal with Israel’s uniquely complex security challenges?

Would it bolster support for Blue and White–New Hope, with Benny Gantz as minister of defense?

Or would a return to the traditional issue of security boost Benjamin Netanyahu, who has spent his entire political career building an image of Mr. Security and the ultimate fighter against terrorism?

This was, after all, a real opportunity for Netanyahu to shine, highlighting his unique experience and enabling him to pivot away from his slightly awkward campaign focus on lowering the cost of living (which soared during his many years in power).

Politicos and analysts eagerly awaited the various post-operation polls to see which leader and party had come out of the operation on top.

The results were inconclusive.

Yesh Atid averaged 23.5 seats in this week’s four polls, up 1.5 from the previous week. In our weighted average – which considers polls over a longer period of time so as to identify real trends and filter out “noise” – it rose 0.8 seats to 23.1. Meanwhile, Netanyahu’s Likud dropped 0.6 seats, from 34.3 to 33.7.

The outcome of this is an almost 1.5-seat swing, from a 12-seat Likud “lead” over Yesh Atid to........

© The Times of Israel

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