Netanyahu Calling Early Elections for Possible October War With Iran?


A leading Israeli TV commentator suggests Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could be calling elections nearly a full year ahead of schedule in order to open a window for a military campaign against Iran's nuclear program in October, while President Obama is in the heat of his re-election campaign.

The Times of Israel reports:

In the weeks immediately after that vote, said well-connected commentator Amnon Abramovich on the top-rated Channel 2 news, Netanyahu will head a transition government at home and have no need to worry about voter sentiment, and he knows that President Barack Obama will be paralyzed by the US presidential campaign…

After the September elections, which all polls show Netanyahu winning easily, he will head a transition government for several weeks while a new coalition is formed. During that period, Netanyahu "will not be beholden to the voters," and will be free to take decisions on Iran that many Israelis might not support, Abramovich said.

Netanyahu's decision to trigger early elections took many Israeli political observers by surprise, but does come on the heels of increasing opposition to war with Iran over its nuclear program from the public, from the intelligence community, as well as from former government and military officials.

Netanyahu's Likud Party is still expected by most to win the re-election amid a fractured and lackluster opposition. The Likud-led coalition also currently includes the second-largest party in the Knesset, Kadima, headed by Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Kadima was formed in 2005 by more moderate members of Likud and more conservative members of the Labor Party. Since then Kadima has largely eclipsed the Labor Party in size.