Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to visit President Trump in the White House next week. This comes just two weeks before Israel’s elections, where the Prime Minister is in a contentious re-election bid that is said to be an extremely tight race. The two leaders will discuss United States recognition of the Golan Heights as well as a host of security issues, as tensions with Gaza flare up.
The Prime Minister has come under investigation by Israel’s Attorney General for a series of bribery and corruption charges. It was announced by the Attorney General in late February that Netanyahu would be indicted, the first time in Israeli history that a sitting Prime Minister has been indicted. Netanyahu may be facing another corruption investigation in the coming weeks. He has called the investigation a “witch hunt” and maintained his innocence.
Netanyahu faces a close re-election bid. The aforementioned corruption charges have caused his poll numbers to sag among the Israeli electorate. In an effort to improve his chances at re-election, he has forged an alliance with two Jewish nationalist parties that have called for a Jewish state and the removal of Palestinians. The left wing parties in Israel have responded in kind by allying with centrist parties.
Tensions between Israel and the Hamas government have been on the rise the past month, as cross border rocketfire and armed incursions have been occurring almost daily. Just this week, a series of rockets were fired at Tel Aviv from Gaza. Israel responded with 100 targeted airstrikes against Hamas forces. Many have speculated that increased tensions will benefit Netanyahu as the Israeli people will look to him to provide security amid growing uncertainty.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is visiting Israel today and meeting with the Prime Minister over Iran and combating growing antisemitism in the US and around the world. Netanyahu heralded his close relationship with the President and the United States, stating that the relationship was based on a “unbreakable bond based on shared values of liberty and democracy.”. He also praised President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran Nuclear Deal and to put the US Embassy in Jerusalem.