Print Media

With an Eye on Netanyahu’s Job, Finance Chief Battles Virus

Bloomberg, 21 May 2020

“The thing about that position is it’s not necessarily a business or economics position,” said Mitchell Barak, a pollster and former adviser to several Israeli finance ministers. “It’s a political position, and this is where Katz is going to be good. He’s got the political savvy and the political juice.”

 

 

Netanyahu Goes on Offensive Day After His Corruption Trial Opens

Wall Street Journal, 25 May 2020

 

“He’s successfully convinced many in the public that the court is intervening in an election and it’s not really about the cases that he faces charges in,” said Mitchell Barak, a political analyst and director at Keevoon Global Research, a Jerusalem-based consulting firm.

 

 

Coalition deal a clear victory for Israel’s Netanyahu as questions swirl around his upcoming trial

The Globe and Mail, 21 April 2020

 

“Gantz doesn’t want any part of [the coronavirus file]. He doesn’t want to take responsibility,” said Mitchell Barak, a Jerusalem-based political analyst. “The problem is, Gantz will be blamed if it’s a failure, because he’s deputy PM. But if it’s a success, it’s all [Mr. Netanyahu’s].”

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But Mr. Barak said the July 1 annexation schedule would likely prove difficult to implement as COVID-19 continues to take its toll and Israel’s economy, like most around the world, slides into recession. “If the economy is tanking, no one is going to be dealing with [annexation],” he said. “By the time we hit July, we’re going to be in a different world.”

 

 

Ahead of curve, now marred by politics: Fading praise for Netanyahu’s leadership

Times of Israel, 16 April 2020

 

Pollster and political analyst Mitchell Barak, too, argued that Netanyahu’s initial response to the pandemic was sagacious and statesmanlike, but later became sullied by small-minded politics.

 

“He’s definitely been in the driver’s seat, leading the government’s response to the crisis. Where he has failed is his refusal to play as a team. He’s the LeBron James of the Israeli government — he doesn’t need teammates, he doesn’t need a coach, he wants to score all the baskets himself,” he said.

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If the premier really believed a functioning government is vital in the face of an unprecedented public health crisis, he would not have insisted on inserting clauses about judicial reforms or applying sovereignty over parts of the West Bank into the coalition agreement, Barak posited.

 

“It’s the medical-crisis-voice of Jacob but the political hands of Esau,” he said. “People are dying, unemployment is through the roof, and people have no cash and no credit. Who cares about annexation or appointing judges now?”

 

 

The Political Wizardry of Benjamin Netanyahu

Foreign Policy, 27 March 2020

 

“Allies in the bloc behaved like a franchisee of Netanyahu. They showed utter loyalty and devotion, even in the face of cannibalizing themselves. It’s like they agreed to a noncompete clause,” said Mitchell Barak, a pollster and a former Netanyahu staffer.

 

 

Blue and White Leader Gantz to Get First Shot at Forming Israeli Government
Wall Street Journal, 15 March 2020

 

“The biggest issue is there’s no real budget, they can’t do anything without that,” said Mitchell Barak, a political analyst and director at Keevoon Global Research, a Jerusalem-based consulting firm. “They need a government and not to go to fourth elections.”

 

Israel’s Coronavirus Crisis Lets Netanyahu Seize the Initiative

New York Times, 13 March 2020

 

“For Netanyahu it’s crisis as usual,” said Mitchell Barak, a Jerusalem-based political consultant and pollster. “People can say he’s doing too much, but nobody is going to say he’s not doing enough. He’s definitely earning political capital.”

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“Netanyahu was ahead of the curve compared with other world leaders,” said Mr. Barak, the pollster. “People may say we are in the middle of a crisis, why would you change a guy like that now for someone who doesn’t know the ropes?”

 

 

Political pitfalls and possible gains of the coronavirus crisis - analysis

Jerusalem Post, 8 March 2020

 

“The more he looks like he’s taking care of business, the more urgent the problem, the more acute and dangerous it is, the more we won’t want to change the leadership and keep the status quo,” said pollster and political analyst Mitchell Barak.

 

Netanyahu has performed competently when confronting viral epidemics, he said, noting that the prime minister prepared early for the Swine Flu outbreak of 2009-2010 when he ordered enough vaccines for the entire country and was even able to return unused ones.

 

“He looks like a leader,” Barak said. “He’s dealt with serious crises, and people have a harder time imagining him not in office. People just can’t imagine anyone else being in office.”

 

 

Benny Gantz Puts His Anti-Netanyahu Coalition Up to a Vote for Third Time
Wall Street Journal, 28 February 2020

“He’s a blank canvas,” Mitchell Barak, a political analyst and director at Keevoon Global Research, a Jerusalem-based consulting firm said of Mr. Gantz. “There’s a population who says we’ve had enough of Netanyahu, and Gantz is the guy who can do it and they’re willing to give him a chance.”

 

 

Trump’s Mideast peace plan draws praise from Netanyahu, ire from Palestinians
The Globe and Mail, 28 January 2020

 

Mitchell Barak, a Jerusalem political analyst and onetime aide to Mr. Netanyahu, said the prospect of getting U.S. approval to annex the West Bank settlement blocs was certain to overshadow the Prime Minister’s legal troubles, and could help ensure Mr. Netanyahu’s re-election.

 

“For Israelis, Trump is a godsend. He’s basically adopted the Likud manifesto,” Mr. Barak said. “He’s a guy who is unequivocally on Israel’s side. You need to capitalize on that. It’s one reason Netanyahu is saying this is an historic opportunity.”

 

 

Embattled Netanyahu Faces Rare Challenge to Lead Likud

Bloomberg, 26 December 2019

 

“Saar is putting up a real fight,” said Mitchell Barak, a pollster and former aide to Netanyahu. But the “Likud is not going to dump a sitting prime minister who is about to go to an election.”

 

Israel’s Netanyahu Is Indicted on Bribery and Fraud Charges
Wall Street Journal, 21 November 2019

 

“These Likud ministers are not going to go down for a third time on the Likud titanic. It hit the first iceberg, and now it’s the second one, and if they find they’re going toward the third iceberg, they may just throw him overboard,” said Mitchell Barak, a political analyst and director at Keevoon Global Research, a Jerusalem-based consulting firm.
 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was indicted on bribery and fraud charges, imperiling the country’s longest-serving leader as he looks set to fight for his personal and political future in a third election contest.

 

Israel’s Netanyahu Fails to Form New Government
Wall Street Journal, 24 October 2019

 

“Likud is not ready to ditch Netanyahu,” said Mitchell Barak, a political analyst and director at Keevoon Global Research, a Jerusalem-based consulting firm. “Likud will punish that person and he won’t be head of the Likud.”

 

Eventually, the specter of a third election could change the equation, he said. Both Likud and Blue and White lost support after April’s vote and are likely to try to avoid another contest, he said.
 

Arab Parties Back Gantz in Bid to Oust Netanyahu
Wall Street Journal, 23 September 2019

“We’re in unprecedented times here in Israel,” said Mitchell Barak, a Jerusalem-based political analyst and pollster.

It is up to President Reuven Rivlin to square the circle of Israeli politics. Elected to the largely ceremonial role in 2014 after a long career with the Likud Party, Mr. Rivlin is widely respected and seen as being above Israel’s fractious politics. Experts said the apparent impasse could give Mr. Rivlin more power than the president has traditionally exercised.

“The question is, what is Rivlin going to do?” Mr. Barak said.

Israel’s Arabs Back Netanyahu Rival in Bid to End Reign
Bloomberg, 22 September 2019

“It was the beginning of the Israeli Arab Spring,” said pollster Mitchell Barak, referring to the pro-democracy uprisings that swept the Middle East. “This could be Netanyahu’s greatest legacy in this election, he actually woke up the Arab community.”

Dethroning King Bibi: Why, and how, Likud could get rid of its longtime leader

Times of Israel, 20 September 2019

“The fact that all Likud MKs, ministers and heir-apparents of Netanyahu have come out in support of him is because he would demand that at this point,” Mitchell Barak said. “Anything but absolute loyalty would be punished in the next race for the party leadership, and in the vote for its next Knesset slate.”

 

Things will change, however, if the prime minister fails to cobble together a coalition, either before or after an equally unsuccessful attempt by Gantz, Barak predicted. “They backed him after the last election; they stayed with him even after he disbanded the Knesset. But they won’t stay on the Likud-Titanic.”

 

 

Israel’s Netanyahu Faces Tight Re-Election Race
Wall Street Journal, 13 September 2019

“After this election, we’re going to see Netanyahu’s exit package—either he’s going in a golden parachute, where we know the date, or he’s going to be thrown off the plane,” said Mitchell Barak, a political analyst and director at Keevoon Global Research, a Jerusalem-based consulting firm.

Israel’s Malaise
Jerusalem Post (Editorial), 10 September 2019

Veteran political analyst Mitchell Barak agreed that voters are reacting to the seeming jumping-bean maneuverings of politicians who merge, change parties and form alliances, all based on expedience.

“There has been a seismic change in loyalty. People see politics more as politicians maneuvering in order to get jobs. There’s no ideology anymore, and this has done long-term damage to people’s interest in politics,” says Barak. “The Israeli public sees all this as a lack of integrity.”

 

 

 

How Bibi Could Win the Vote and Lose the Election
Foreign Policy, 6 September 2019

 

“The key is President Reuven Rivlin. He’s going to play a monumental role,’’ said Mitchell Barak, an independent pollster who used to advise Netanyahu. “He can literally decide to give the mandate to anyone—not necessarily the head of the largest party.”

 

Political Listlessness Ahead of the Election
Jerusalem Post, 5 September 2019

 

Mitchell Barak, a pollster and political analyst, sees today’s political parties as ephemeral, and their personality-driven model as having damaged public interest in politics, pointing to similar examples of this trend, such as Shaffir and Gantz.

 

“There has been a seismic change in loyalty. People see politics more as politicians maneuvering in order to get jobs. There’s no ideology anymore, and this has done long-term damage to people’s interest in politics,” says Barak. “The Israeli public sees all this as a lack of integrity.”

Israel's Netanyahu Weighs Move to Cancel September Elections
Bloomberg, 25 June 2019

 

With Netanyahu, “anything is possible. The man has no shame when it comes to doing things for his own personal benefit and survival,” said Mitchell Barak, head of Keevoon Research, Strategy & Communications in Jerusalem. “It’s not in his best interest to go to elections because he might lose.”

 

A move to cancel elections would be unprecedented in Israel, and it’s not clear if it’s even legally possible. Even if the move fails, it could allow Netanyahu to portray himself as a responsible leader trying to save the country an expensive and unnecessary revote.

From Beit El and beyond, Israelis see hope as Palestinians despair ahead of Trump’s peace plan

The Globe and Mail, 13 May 2019

 

“Netanyahu can say the public knew about it and said it’s okay – that the public knew about the charges and gave him more [Knesset seats] than he had before,” said Mitchell Barak, a Jerusalem-based pollster who previously worked as an aide to the late Israeli president Shimon Peres.

 

Israel’s President Taps Netanyahu to Form Next Government

Bloomberg, 17 April 2019

Mitchell Barak, a pollster and political consultant who worked for Netanyahu in the 1990s, said Netanyahu is in a stronger position in the coalition negotiations than after past elections. With Likud so much larger than its likely partners -- the next-largest party has just eight seats -- the prime minister is less vulnerable to pressure than usual, Barak reasons.

 

Likewise, the fact that Likud and Blue & White together would have enough seats to form a unity government -- even though Gantz has said he won’t sit with Netanyahu -- boosts the premier’s bargaining power.

 

“It’s a quiet threat to Netanyahu’s right-of-center coalition partners,” Barak said. “They can’t break the bank this time because there’s a viable alternative.”

 

 

An Opposition in Search of a Brand

NY Jewish Week, 17 April 2019

 

“Blue and White had a phenomenal success. A party that large is a threat to Netanyahu and Likud. They are the main opposition party, and they could build up momentum,” said Mitchell Barak, an Israeli American pollster and political strategist.

 

“But the first challenge for them is to stay together as a party. Netanyahu has to make sure they are divided. Gantz is totally untested with rookie lawmakers. Even if they had won, Blue and White is like a team of college football stars that never played in the NFL: We’ll see how they respond.”

What Netanyahu’s Fifth Term Means for Israel and the Middle East

Bloomberg, 11 April 2019

His “isn’t a message of hope, but of nationalism,” says Mitchell Barak, an independent pollster who once worked for the prime minister.
 

Israel election: 'Bibi the magician' pulls off another trick

BBC News, 10 April 2019

"He has lots of options," assesses pollster Mitchell Barak, who has worked with many Israeli leaders in the past, including Mr Netanyahu.
 

"He can go with right of centre, a narrow government, a national unity government with Gantz, or some combination."

From Nowhere, Annexation Becomes an Issue on Eve of Israel's Election

Bloomberg, 8 April 2019

“The numbers and the desire to govern will lead to some kind of Gantz-Netanyahu union,” independent pollster Mitchell Barak predicted.

As Israel Charts a Future, Color and Chaos Abound in Its Election
New York Times, 6 April 2019

Most Israelis prefer their leaders to be rapacious alpha dogs, said Mitchell Barak, an American-born pollster who once worked for Mr. Netanyahu. “Say what you will about Bibi,” he said, using the prime minister’s nickname. “He wants the job more than anyone else. He wants it more than anything in the world.”

Netanyahu Trails Rival Gantz Days Before Israeli Elections

Wall Street Journal, 5 April 2019

“If Blue and White gets more seats, three, four or five more seats, it means more people in Israel want Gantz as prime minister than Netanyahu. That will be the most significant rejection of Netanyahu,” said Mitchell Barak, a political analyst and director at Keevoon Global Research, a Jerusalem-based consulting firm.

Israelis to Decide if Netanyahu Will Stay or Go in Upcoming Election – Here’s What We Know

CBN News, 2 April 2019

Pollster Mitchell Barak says even a week before the vote, it doesn't feel like the campaign has started.

“You know, there's been a lot of mudslinging back and forth, but if you walk around Jerusalem or Tel Aviv or anywhere else, you don't see signs on people's balconies, you don't see signs in their window,” Barak told CBN News.

Barak recently took an in-depth survey of Israelis and found their support for Trump has skyrocketed to 73 percent.  He's fulfilled a dream basket of Israeli wishes, from moving the US Embassy, to recognizing the Golan is part of Israel, to cracking down on Iran and Palestinian terrorists. The poll was commissioned by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation Israel.

 

“So Israelis, to a certain extent, see that there's a Likudnik, you know a Likud person, in the White House, and they see that Netanyahu is very, very close to President Trump,” said Barak.

 

 

Israel election: Is part of Netanyahu’s base suddenly in play?

CS Monitor, 27 March 2019

 

“The soft Likudnik is someone that vacillates between Likud and the center, and someone who looks for strong leadership,’’ says Mitchell Barak, an Israeli American public opinion expert. “They want more on the social issues than the Likud has to offer, and they want someone who is going to care about them and represent them.”

 

 

Under investigation and up for reelection, Netanyahu’s kinship with Trump has never been clearer
Washington Post, 19 March 2019

 

Mitchell Barak, an Israeli American pollster who was an adviser to Netanyahu in the early 1990s, called it “an Israeli version of ‘deep state’ — the deep-left effort to unseat Netanyahu.”

The Man Who Could Topple Netanyahu

Bloomberg, 5 March 2019

Gantz is hardly the first Israeli general to burst onto the scene promising a better way. But at a time when the incumbent is showing rare vulnerability, Gantz’s profile helps him to look like a credible alternative, according to Mitchell Barak, an independent pollster who once worked with Netanyahu.

 

In Israeli elections, “it’s personality politics,” said Barak. Gantz “has got charisma, he looks the part. People have a comfort level with a chief of staff.”

 

That may just make Netanyahu all the more determined in his bid to win a fifth term and surpass founding father David Ben-Gurion as Israel’s longest-serving premier. Netanyahu is “just going to be juiced up and ready to go,” Barak said. “Netanyahu is best when he’s got someone to fight.”

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The rest of his relatively blank slate of policies may not necessarily be a hindrance, according to Barak, the pollster. “I call him the Charlie Chaplin candidate because he doesn’t really say anything—and that leaves space for Israelis to fantasize about what they’d like him to be,” he said.

Netanyahu Rivals Explore Alliance to Try to Unseat Israel’s Long-Serving Prime Minister

Wall Street Journal, 18 February 2019

 

“All of the people that are talking about getting together are political entrepreneurs, who are founders of their own political party,” said Mitchell Barak, a political analyst and director at Keevoon Global Research, a Jerusalem-based consulting firm. “Why should they trade in their founders stock to another company for a seat on the board and a senior-level position, when they lose total control of what they want to do and they don’t necessarily need the money?”

Netanyahu Under Pressure as Israeli Police Recommend Charges in Third Corruption Case
Wall Street Journal, 2 December 2018

The prime min­is­ter is now more vul­ner­a­ble be­cause the po­lice think he’s guilty, said Mitchell Barak, a po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst and di­rec­tor at Jerusalem-based Keevoon Global Re­search. “At some point the pub­lic may say it’s time to clear your name and you can al­ways come back,” he added.

 

 

Netanyahu Appeals to Keep Coalition Intact, Citing Security
Bloomberg, 18 November 2018

 

Netanyahu, a public relations master, has managed to paint himself as the mature adult in the room amid bickering children, said Mitchell Barak, a public opinion expert who served as an adviser to Netanyahu in the 1990s. “He made it look like he’s playing geopolitical chess and they’re playing Israeli checkers,” Barak said.

 

 

If Gaza Brings Down Netanyahu’s Government, Can He Rise Again?
New York Times, 16 November 2018

“He always does well with security,” said Mitchell Barak, a Jerusalem-based political consultant and pollster. “He’s only ever run on the security ticket.”

 

None of Mr. Netanyahu’s current contenders, from the political right, left or center, are considered anywhere near as experienced in national security. “He’s got no competition,” Mr. Barak said. “He’s running against himself.”

 

Israeli Defense Minister Resigns, Threatening Netanyahu’s Grip on Power
Wall Street Journal, 14 November 2018

“Structurally really there’s only room for someone to be prime minister within a large party. So that doesn’t leave a lot of candidates, that leaves Netanyahu and whoever is on the left,” said Mitchell Barak, a political analyst and director at Jerusalem-based Keevoon Global Research.

Israeli Defense Minister Resigns, Threatening Government’s Survival
Bloomberg, 14 November 2018

“I think Netanyahu will use this crisis to solidify his position,” said Mitchell Barak, a public opinion expert who served as an adviser to Netanyahu in the 1990s.

The public has little tolerance for military fatalities, and recent confrontations with Gaza haven’t caused large-scale casualties or damage, Barak said. “He started this government with 61, he knows what is like to run a coalition of 61, and for those remaining, it is worth it to stabilize and have elections later.”

 


Outlook for Israeli Leader Brightens as Prospects for Iran Nuclear Deal Dim
Wall Street Journal, 9 May 2018

 

“When Israel is under existential threat no attorney general in their right mind would indict a sitting PM,” said Mitchell Barak, a political analyst and director at Jerusalem-based Keevoon Global Research.

 

Netanyahu, Under Fire at Home, Seeks a Warm Embrace in U.S.
New York Times, 3 March 2018

 

But Mitchell Barak, an American-Israeli political consultant, said Mr. Netanyahu’s cultivation of liberal American Jews had dwindled to little more than lip service lately — while rejecting their demands could only hearten his ultra-Orthodox supporters.

 

“He’s great at telling them how much he values them,” Mr. Barak said of less-religious American Jews, “till he gets home and votes for closing all stores on Shabbat, or not implementing the wall deal, or saying the ultra-Orthodox don’t have to serve in the army.”
 

To survive scandals, Netanyahu relies on mantra: no one else can lead Israel
CS Monitor, 1 March 2018

 

Mitchell Barak, who worked for Netanyahu in the early 1990s when he was deputy foreign minister, says his supporters can be explained simply:

 

“At the end of the day Israelis vote on one issue, and that is on the security/peace issue. If you are right of center, it’s security, and you want someone who will protect and defend Israel, and minimize terror attacks,

and fight for defensible borders. And from that point of view Netanyahu is delivering the goods, so who cares about a little corruption?”

 


Netanyahu Legal Woes Worsen as Ex-Top Aide Agrees to Testify
Bloomberg, 21 February 2018

“Shlomo Filber is a close confidant of the prime minister who can fully connect all the dots of all the people,” said Keevoon Global Research head Mitchell Barak, who served as an aide to Netanyahu more than 20 years ago.

Israeli Police Recommend Charging Netanyahu With Bribery, Fraud

Wall Street Journal, 14 February 2018

“The attorney general has to think, ‘Can I win a case here?’ ” said Mitchell Barak, a political analyst and director at Jerusalem-based Keevoon Global Research.

“‘I’m bringing down a government. I can’t indict the PM unless it’s a slam dunk.’”

 

Israel Plans to Indict Prime Minister’s Wife
Wall Street Journal, 8 September 2017

 

Mr. Netanyahu is likely to come out politically stronger among some voters if his wife is indicted on a charge of corruption, as many Israelis consider the allegations a campaign to unseat him, said Mitchell Barak, an analyst and director at Jerusalem-based Keevoon Global Research.

 

“His religiously traditional, right-of-center...base sees this as another attempt by the leftist establishment to bring down a prime minister,” he said. “He scores big points...for defending his wife and faithfully standing by her side.”

 

Meet the Netanyahu Loyalist Who Could End His Patron's Career
Bloomberg, 13 August 2017

 

“Netanyahu’s on death row, but that means he’s got time for lots of appeals,” said Mitchell Barak, another former Netanyahu aide and now a Jerusalem-based pollster. “This process can go on for years.”

 

Supporters Rally Around Netanyahu Amid Police Probes
Wall Street Journal, 9 August 2017

 

Mr. Netanyahu has remained popular among his right-wing base because they view attacks against the leader as politically motivated attempts to force him from power, according to Mitchell Barak, a political analyst and director at Jerusalem-based Keevoon Global Research.

 

“Netanyahu has kept away other political stars and sidelined anyone around him that can possibly take over,” said Mr. Barak. “So once he’s gone, anything is possible.”

 

Israel Removes Remaining Security Measures at Jerusalem Holy Site
Wall Street Journal, 27 July 2017

 

Even so, he will likely weather this latest crisis, according to Mitchell Barak, political analyst at Jerusalem-based Keevoon Global Research.

 

“Netanyahu walks away from this unscathed,” he said. “For one reason: Israelis cannot identify an alternative to Netanyahu.”

 

Israel Installs Security Cameras at Temple Mount

Wall Street Journal, 23 July 2017

 

The metal detectors are a symbol of wider Palestinian grievances over a lack of movement toward statehood, and fears that Israel is attempting to change longstanding agreements over accessibility to the Temple Mount, said Mitchell Barak, a political analyst at Jerusalem-based Keevoon Global Research.

 

“Palestinians think that Israel is trying to change the status quo,” said Mr. Barak, who has worked with Mr. Netanyahu. “Israel is exercising its sovereignty and sending a message [to Palestinians] that you have to walk through our metal detectors.”

 

Israeli Labor Party Tries a New Leader: Gabbay, Self-Made Millionaire
New York Times, 10 July 2017


Despite hopes in Labor that Mr. Gabbay will be able to bring in new voters from sectors of the public that have long shunned the party, Mitchell Barak, an Israeli pollster and political commentator, said his surveys over the years showed that the Mizrahim consistently preferred Ashkenazic candidates for prime minister.

“There has not yet been a Sephardi prime minister,” Mr. Barak said, “and I don’t see one on the horizon.”

 

Labor Focuses on Ousting Netanyahu as It Heads for Runoff
Bloomberg, 5 July 2017

 

The contest is between Labor’s “old socialist guard and a professional in business management and efficiency,” said Mitchell Barak, a Jerusalem-based pollster and former aide to Netanyahu. “It’s very much a defining moment as to how Labor sees its future.”

 

Israeli Leadership Contest Delayed Because of Britney Spears Concert
Bloomberg, 3 July 2017

 

“Netanyahu’s very good at letting somebody give him a bear hug and then destroying him,” said Mitchell Barak, a pollster and former aide to the prime minister. “At the end of the day, it looked like Herzog was groveling.”

Israel Abuzz Over Whether Sheldon Adelson Is Ditching Netanyahu for a New Favorite
Haaretz, 29 June 2017

 

Mitchell Barak, a pollster who was an aide to Netanyahu before he became prime minister, said Adelson had good reason to feel betrayed by the prime minister.

 

“Even speaking to Mozes was a betrayal of Adelson’s trust, someone who has put almost $200 million into getting him elected and keeping him in power,” Barak said. “It’s immeasurable what Adelson has done for Bibi. It’s a huge amount of money.”

 

Mitchell Barak agreed. “I don’t see Bennett happening,” he said. “He heads a small, sectarian party that will always have his hands tied by a commitment to the settlements. I don’t think Bennett is the guy. Adelson needs someone who is capable of leading the Likud party.”

 

But Barak noted that Adelson and Bennett could “probably compare notes” since they were both close to Netanyahu and have now fallen out with him – a common pattern. “Every one of Netanyahu’s rivals today are people who once worked with him,” Barak said.

 

Trump Leaves Israel With Hope for Peace, but No Plan for It
New York Times, 23 May 2017

 

“Is anything behind all of this? That, only the prime minister knows,” said Mitchell Barak, an Israeli pollster and former political adviser.

 

Of Mr. Trump, he said: “This is probably the way he did business. From what I can see, he goes into a meeting, he puts on a show. He’s the Liberace of world leaders.”

 

“Then he leaves it to Greenblatt, Friedman and Kushner and says, ‘Close it,’” Mr. Barak said, referring to two of Mr. Trump’s private lawyers, Jason Greenblatt and David M. Friedman, whom he has made, respectively, his main envoy to the region and the American ambassador to Israel.

 

Israeli Prime Minister Talks of a Snap Election Amid Concerns Over a New Public Broadcaster
Los Angeles Times, 21 March 2017

 

Netanyahu views the media “as kryptonite, with the ability to neutralize and destabilize all the good work he’s trying to do,” said Mitchell Barak, an Israeli American public opinion expert.

Iran on Agenda as Putin, Netanyahu Hold Talks in Moscow
Wall Street Journal, 9 March 2017

 

With a large Russian-speaking population in Israel and better relations with Mr. Trump than Barack Obama, Mr. Netanyahu is in a “unique position” to serve as a mediator between the U.S. and Russia, said Mitchell Barak, an Israeli political analyst.

 

“He certainly understands both mind-sets,” said Mr. Barak, who has worked with the prime minister.

 


Israel Defiantly Cranks West Bank Settlement Plans Into High Gear
New York Times, 1 February 2017

 

“Instead of making peace with the Palestinians, Prime Minister Netanyahu and his cabinet spend time making peace with the settlers, which at the end of the day, is their preferred partner for the future of the Jewish state,” said Mitchell Barak, a pollster and political consultant.

 

Corruption probe poses risk to Netanyahu’s political standing
Financial Times, 4 January 2017

 

Mitchell Barak, a pollster and public opinion expert, said that Mr Netanyahu was likely to stoke a sense among his supporters that the investigation was a conspiracy to unseat him.

 

“He is successfully playing to his faithful on the right who believe that the left, unable to bring him down by the ballot, are trying to do it by police investigation,” he said.

© 2020 KEEVOON Research, Strategy and Communications Ltd.

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