The 80,000 Likud members who voted in the primary election returned a hardline and slavishly pro-Netanyahu slate. The two main goals professed by nearly all of them? To not only restore “King Bibi” to his rightful place atop the country, but to begin a wholesale revolution in Israel’s democratic system.
Earlier this year, Israeli military intelligence ruled out the chances of any new deal including Iran’s malign regional activity and of Iranian missile development as extremely unlikely — contrary to demands still aired periodically by certain Israeli officials and U.S. analysts. Today, albeit not widely publicized, in Israeli eyes the nuclear issue should be completely decoupled from the regional dimension, lest it create more bargaining power for Tehran.
Israel’s so-called government of change pledged to avoid controversial issues to ensure that the coalition remains afloat. But Israel’s settlement lobby has settled deeper and more irrevocably into the heart of power.
While the attacks carried out by Palestinian citizens of Israel were extensive and deadly, the overwhelming focus on that violence prevented the emergence of a much-needed debate within Israel about its growing problem of Jewish radicalization.
The very political figures that Israel’s longest-serving prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu nurtured and elevated conspired to end his reign. They did so, not out of ideological resolve, but out of exasperation that Netanyahu’s last days were following the Trump playbook.
Arabs are of course not of a single mind on any particular issue, nor is it possible to gauge public opinion under tyrannical regimes. But it is indicative of the fact that these authoritarians no longer see the pan-Arab Palestinian cause and supporting it as vital to their survival.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Benjamin Netanyahu have become their countries’ longest-serving leaders by claiming to speak for silent majorities. In doing so, they have taken their respective countries in new directions.