Thursday, November 22, 2018

Until Israelis are given a credible alternative, Netanyahu will remain Israel’s indispensable man - by Jonathan S. Tobin

...To put Netanyahu’s current position in perspective, it’s necessary to think back to when it looked as if he was done for good. After a meteoric rise to the top and beating out Shimon Peres in 1996, Netanyahu’s first term as prime minister was less than a ringing success.

Jonathan S. Tobin..
21 November '18..

He did it again. Despite being placed in an impossible position by the resignation of Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman over accepting another ceasefire with Hamas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu managed to keep his coalition government alive.

Netanyahu called the bluff of Minister of Education Naftali Bennett, who threatened to topple the government if he wasn’t named defense minister after Lieberman’s parting. That meant that when the dust cleared, one right-wing rival was sidelined, and the other exposed as unwilling or unable to take on the prime minister and set off a crisis that would force early elections.

It was yet another successful maneuver by the man who has presided over Israel since 2009, and is very likely to be put in a position to lead it for at least another four years when the country goes to the polls to elect a new Knesset either in the spring or later in 2019.

The graveyards are full of people who thought they were indispensable, and Netanyahu’s run of victories can’t last forever. But the prime minister’s frenemies within his coalition, as well as his open foes in the opposition, know that he currently stands alone when Israeli voters consider who should lead them.

This would be an extraordinary achievement for anyone, but when you consider the political hurdles that Netanyahu has overcome, it’s downright remarkable. Nevertheless, a sober analysis of the situation reveals that his triumphs say more about the lack of other options than it does about his personal greatness. For all of his deft management of the government, the failure of his opponents on both the left and the right to come up with rational alternatives has kept him as the only person most observers think has a chance of leading the next Israeli government.

(Continue to Full Column)

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