PM at end of his rope with unity government, advisers say

The straw breaking Netanyahu’s back is the sovereignty issue, which now appears to be slipping through his fingers as he wages a last-ditch effort to salvage something of the historic initiative.

By Mati Tuchfeld, ISRAEL HAYOM

PM at end of his rope with unity government, advisers say

PM Benjamin Netanyahu with alternate prime minister Benny Gantz at the weekly cabinet meting in Jerusalem, Sunday | Photo: Emil Salman

The public feud that erupted this week between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and alternate prime minister Benny Gantz was similar to the atmosphere that usually surrounds a government at the tail end of its term, when its end is already in sight. The difference is that this time we’re only six weeks into this government’s term, a long way from its designated end.

With every passing week, Netanyahu discovers he has lost another asset. His situation in the polls continues to be strong, contrary to Gantz, who continues to plummet. This gap is driving Netanyahu and his advisers crazy. People who spoke with him this week say he is at the end of his rope. The straw breaking the camel’s back, they say, is the sovereignty issue, which appears to be slipping between his fingers as he wages a last-ditch effort vis-a-vis the Americans to salvage something of the historic initiative.

From Netanyahu’s perspective, this failure has but two fathers: Benny Gantz and Gabi Ashkenazi. As Netanyahu has repeatedly stressed in private conversations, including with Gantz himself, squandering sovereignty could be a catalyst for another election. Not elections down the road just before the rotation clause kicks in, but now, immediately.

There is a growing belief within the prime minister’s circle that if elections are not called now, using the national budget vote as a jump-off station that will keep Netanyahu as prime minister of the transition government, there won’t be an election at all. Their concern is that the economic situation will continue to deteriorate; that what we are seeing now, with the country still able to pay unemployment and help the self-employed, is just the tip of the iceberg of the economic catastrophe that awaits; that a few months from now a drastic economic downturn will translate into a downfall at the voting stations; and that if an election is inevitable then better to hold it as soon as possible. People who met with Netanyahu this week described him as extremely irritable and troubled.

Realizing the magnitude of the mistake of establishing a unity government appears to be weighing on him, impairing his ability to function and deflating him. Never has a government been as paralyzed, discombobulated, and ludicrous as this one.

Netanyahu’s advisers insist that the government’s current ineptitude doesn’t mean another election on the horizon, but in the same breath they say the coming weeks are critical in that regard.


July 2, 2020 | 11 Comments » | 453 views

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11 Comments / 11 Comments

  1. The “unity government” is fiction. It cannot hold its own for long. Elections.

  2. Fourth elections that will include Shaked and Bennett in Justice and Defense–Go Right!

  3. Excellent article. Only solution is for Bibi to overcome his coronomania and ditch the health department bureaucrats, fire Edelstein as health minister because he is really f___ing up by imposing relockdowns, transfering the health ministry bureaucrats who are misadvising Edelstein to other departments, budget-cutting the infectious disease control unit of the Health Ministry out of existence, or whatever it takes to remove them from power. When and if Bibi overcomes his coronomania, he will be able to regain his popularity as well as his mental health, form an all-rightist government, and win reelection.

  4. Bibi should resign before he kills the economy and creates an Arab state on 70% of Judea and Samaria with his secret maps and land negotiations (which are illegal under Israel’s law).

  5. Should Netanyahu resign, I think not.
    He tried to form a government with his usual but lacked the seats to form a government.
    To stop the endless cycle of carbon copy elections, he crafted an agreement with Gantz, which broke up Blue and White, a conglomeration of previous members of Likud plus an eccentric tv reporter.
    That was quite an adept move, which shows he can navigate the rough waters of internal Israeli politics.
    Now that his support has returned, apparently, he has an option to call new elections, which makes sense.
    The Coronavirus restrictions are sound reasoning. We still do not understand enough about Covid-19 to take any chances with lives in the balance. He had no choice. No one needs a cytokine storm and a miserable death. It was a good call.
    Who does Israel have to replace him? Livni. She is making the media rounds you know,; saw the train wreck last week on Aminpour, The Great Propagandist. She is guilty of incitement, her agenda is as transparent as one sided analyses. The Corporation had better dump her before they get sued for their malfeasance in breaking their FCC Charter compliance.
    I must concur with Zachary with respect to Bennet and Shaked.
    Bennet did not disappoint as Defense Minister. Netanyahu cannot remain PM forever, so it is obvious to me he should prepare Bennet to share the responsibilities, by giving him The Defense portfolio back and an acceptable ministry for Shaked at a minimum.
    Netanyahu is still viable and has learned from his experiences which are extremely numerous or he can spend the rest of his life writing his memoirs. I think he is more an asset to Israel as PM than bestselling author. It is no secret which of the two will make him wealthy. This is proof enough to me that his heart and soul is with Israel and not his bank account.
    I doubt he is guilty of any of crimes in which he has been accused.

  6. @ Reader:

    Reader, you always make such extreme comments, that you become involved in disputes more often than not.-depending on the staying power of your critics..

  7. Wooly Mammoth Said:

    No one needs a cytokine storm and a miserable death

    “Don’t do unto others as you would have them do unto you; they may have different tastes.” – George Bernard Shaw

    I agree with Edgar, your post was original, insightful and spot on, Wooly, but I just couldn’t resist.

  8. @ Edgar G.:
    I write what I see, and I see that N. gave Blue/White the juiciest ministries, gave Yamina exactly nothing (he doesn’t like “rightist” governments), and created the largest, most wasteful government in Israel’s history.
    He also conducts secret negotiations (from which the settlers are excluded) utilizing confusing, misleading, and never finalized maps.
    The goal of these negotiations is to create a 2-state Final Solution which will result in a “Palestinian” state on 70% of Judea and Samaria plus some more of Israel’s land (under the guise of Israel’s unilateral application of sovereignty to the 30% of Judea and Samaria), and, quite possibly, will result in a forced removal of settler “fledgling enclaves” from Judea and Samaria to make room for the Arab state whose sole reason for existence will consist of pushing Israel further into the sea.
    All of Judea and Samaria is part of the original Mandate constituting the Jewish National Home, and as such cannot be given away because it is Israel’s by international law and precedent.
    Under Israel’s law, conspiring to give Israel’s land to an enemy is a crime far worse than what N. is being accused of now.
    If this sounds too harsh – well, it is true.

  9. @ Wooly Mammoth:
    A million $ question is “How far the destruction of a country and its residents’ lives must proceed in order that relatively few people might be saved from experiencing cytokine storm?”
    Please recall, that COVID-19 has not replaced all the other diseases which people keep dying from (possibly at an increased rate) while all the attention has been focused on what is, essentially, a fairly mild type of influenza.

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