Feb. 7, 2019
Michael Oren served as Israel’s ambassador to the United States from 2009 to 2013. He is currently a member the Kulanu political party and was a part of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition before the Knesset was dissolved. In the process of filming a new documentary about the upcoming Israeli election, I met with him in Jaffa, to speak about the hot-button issues.
What is the 2019 Israeli election really about?
The same thing that the previous election was about. And the election before that and the election before that. The election’s about Benjamin Netanyahu.
Why is this election only about Netanyahu? It’s not as if Israel suffers from a lack of issues.
Because of the situation that Israel finds itself in. Israel is challenged in a way that no other country is challenged, in terms of its security – it’s physical security and it’s legitimacy. Netanyahu is perceived as the person that can defend Israel. He’s also an economist, a legislator and an expert politician, and no single challenger has been able to check off all those boxes in a generation.
Is there anyone who can challenge Netanyahu this time around?