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Thursday, December 2, 2021

Netanyahu struggles to plan to regain power in Israel


During a visit to Israel last month, a group of American lawmakers met with the new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and drove to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian Prime Minister Mohamed Steye.

But the person they did not spare time to contact was Benjamin Netanyahu, who was once the most important figure in Israel and has long been the climax of the visiting delegation’s itinerary.

This snub hit Netanyahu’s ally, the Likud group, complaining about the marginalization of opposition leaders. The US delegation never asked to see him. The Foreign Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Yail Rapide replied that he was the architect of the clumsy eight-party coalition that replaced the Netanyahu government with a majority of one seat.

Netanyahu, who served as prime minister five times and occasionally as the leader of the opposition, vowed on the day he was deposed in mid-June that his exile will be short-lived. However, six months later, the man who enjoys the reputation of Houdini in Israeli politics is working hard to plot a path to regain power. He faced challenges to the leadership of the Likud group because the criminal prosecution for alleged corruption drained his energy and prevented him from returning to the right-wing camp leader.

“As the trial progresses, we see that his prominence in the national discourse is slowly declining,” said Dahlia Scheindlin, a political adviser and opinion poll expert who has participated in several Israeli elections.

“We have not seen any real weakening of his support base, but he has not yet been able to make a comeback-on the contrary, this country is seeing every day that it can function without him.”

Bennett and his allies survived longer than many predicted and successfully passed the budget. This was the first exhausting debate in the country in more than three years.

The next major opportunity for Netanyahu to weaken the alliance will appear at the end of 2023, when Bennett will be required to hand over power to Rapide, and they will agree when Netanyahu is removed.

Nonetheless, those close to him stated that these were temporary setbacks for Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, who had recovered from political exile in the past and returned to the post of prime minister.

“Netanyahu is not an astrologer. He will predict when the true right will return and lead Israel in the right direction,” said a person close to him who described Netanyahu’s recent The mood in the interaction is relaxed and optimistic. “The witch hunt will end soon-people have seen that there is no evidence at all, only accusations.”

“The Witch Hunt” is how Netanyahu portrayed his trial of corruption.

In two overlapping cases, the prosecutor claimed that he had done a good job for a friend who offered him and his wife expensive cigars and champagne. In the third case, they claimed that he had promised a newspaper publisher that he Allegations of bribery, fraud and dishonesty are strongly denied. Regulatory incentives in exchange for active coverage.

Every once in a while, the 72-year-old defendant drove from his mansion in Caesarea to the district court in East Jerusalem, surrounded by a group of lawyers and his most loyal supporters. These appearances are a glimpse of how much his situation has changed. The convoy was gone, so I took him to meet with visiting foreign dignitaries. During his most recent appearance, about two dozen of his supporters gathered to insult reporters and prosecutors.

So far, the testimony has not been flattering-last week, one of his assistants, now a national witness, described him as a control freak, demanding constant change of headlines and stories, and when the investigation came to light, the assistants destroyed Their cell phones.

“Going to court is hard for anyone, but it is especially hard in Netanyahu’s case,” Nahum Bania, One of Israel’s most famous political commentators, wrote a sketch in the newspaper the next day. “The transition from’omnipotent’ to being controlled is obvious to him-there is anger, contempt and disdain on his face.”

The outcome of the trial could be explosive-imprisoning one of the most influential people in the Middle East. However, because the appeal is expected to continue to the Supreme Court, analysts said that the final judgment of the trial will take several years. However, Netanyahu found that he had little room for the next move in his political career, and even faced challenges from within the Likud group.

Yuli Edelstein is his long-term ally, and recently served as the Minister of Health in the Blitz vaccination campaign, almost making Netanyahu the sixth prime minister and is challenging him to lead the Likud group. There is almost no (if any) ideological difference between him and his former mentor. But he said that until the trial is resolved, Netanyahu will not be able to get enough support to lead the alliance.

“There are great prime ministers all over the world-in the case of Churchill-they hit a wall at some stage. Just like in boxing, you have to know when to remain undefeated,” Edelstein said.

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