Who dethroned Netanyahu?
Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister with a total of 15 years in office, has surpassed the reign of Israel’s founding father, David Ben-Gurion. Now that his historic leadership is finally about to end, Israel prepares itself for a new doctrine. Will it be better or worse? The answer to it lies in the times to come.
Netanyahu’s “achievements” for Israel however lie in a cliched explanation of his political trait that he is a “survivor,” a fox, a hustler, and a political genius.
Unlike other right-wing politicians in the world, Netanyahu did not exploit or ride the existing populist movement but instead, he was the only architect of the current model of Israel’s right-wing politics. It can be said that if Ben-Gurion founded Israel in 1948, Netanyahu was Israel’s newer founding father in 1996. An entire generation of Israelis grew up seeing Netanyahu take the right-wing camp to back to back successes. The right loves Netanyahu and for them, he is the saviour.
Netanyahu’s success lied in rebranding the idea of Israel in the minds of its traditional supporters and this was not a mere political strategy to him. He shifted the balance of power in Israel in a shrewd way. He did so by making the illegal settlers of the Occupied Territories and Jewish extremists his core constituency. He with time grew so strong that no one, not even Israel’s court system was strong enough to compel Netanyahu to resign.
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Palestinians have battled a life-long Israeli siege. Gaza, last month, stood in solidarity with a small Palestinian community that is based in Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem.
The impedance lighted a flood of events that unified all Palestinians everywhere within days. The Financial Times, on this, said that the ferocity of the Palestinian reaction had caught Israel by surprise. Netanyahu found himself at an unusual disadvantage. The war, which lasted only 11 days, was enough to chop Israel’s sense of security, spoil its image across the globe and expose its sham democracy.
The once-untouchable Netanyahu immediately displayed the mockery of Israeli politics. His acts in Gaza was termed by leading Israeli politicians as a “surrender” and “embarrassing”.
Netanyahu has struggled to redeem his image and it was too late. This may sound strange that it was not Lieberman or Bennett who finally dethroned Netanyahu, but it was the Palestinians who did so.