Netanyahu hires Republican strategist John McLaughlin

Ben Sales

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly hired Republican strategist and pollster John McLaughlin ahead of Israel’s March 17 election.

Israel’s Channel Two reported the move as polls show Netanyahu in a close race with the center-left alliance of the Labor and Hatnua parties, according to the Times of Israel.

McLaughlin, who according to his website has worked with dozens of U.S. congressmen and senators, previously worked with Netanyahu in 2007, ahead of his victory in the 2009 Israeli election.

American political strategists have worked on several past Israeli election campaigns. In last year’s election capmaign, Netanyahu hired conservative political strategist Arthur Finkelstein while the Labor party hired strategist Stanley Greenberg, a veteran of U.S. Democratic campaigns.