It has not been a good summer for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It began with something close to euphoria, as the coalition was broadened to include the Kadima Party and reach a near-record 94 mandates. But the coalition did not exactly thrive: Kadima was forced out when agreement on the draft of Haredi men could not be reached – not exactly what the public wanted.
And other issues also started to erode Netanyahu’s previous support. While the social protest movement wasn’t able to accomplish something that even remotely reminiscent to last year’s successes, the government made life harder for itself by imposing necessary but never popular austerity measures on the public. Taxes are going up, services are being cut. The public – already fearful of the consequences of possible armed conflict with Iran – can be forgiven for its lack of confidence. As you can see in our Netanyahu Approval tracker, the result is a continued decline in Netanyahu’s numbers. He is now barely above 30% approval - not long ago he was above 50%.