Netanyahu never really left office

On my first article here on Israel Hayom, I dared to write a kind of political farewell to Benjamin Netanyahu, thanking him for his service and all the accomplishments he achieved for Israel, for the Israeli people, for the Jewish Diaspora, as well as for the cause of liberty and democracy. Little did I know that Netanyahu would come back stronger, more supported by the Israeli People and more energetic than ever before. I – like many other political analysts and especially Likud's political opponents – was outsmarted by Netanyahu's political genius.

First and foremost, the electoral outcome of the last Israeli general election proves the political singularity of Netanyahu – he is the master of politics, of negotiation, of never giving up while holding strong opinions. The former and future Ieader has the determination of Sayeret Matkal with an intuition to understand people's feelings, fears, and expectations – as well as the killing instinct of a politician. This (rare) combination (alongside his capacity to transform his flaws into strengths) results in Netanayhu's distinguishing charisma which is perceived by an important majority of Israeli voters as statesmanship (and rightfully so). Jared Kushner unveiled in his memoir that Netanyahu taught him to always keep a strong connection with the people – not with the pundits, nor the media or the other "power players" – always with the real people. Netanyahu walked his own talk.

These unique features confound his opponents who continue to struggle to understand how to deal with him in the political arena. It is not that Prime Minister Yair Lapid or former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett were just footnotes on Israel's history – on the contrary, they did a great job during very challenging times. And both of them demonstrated truly remarkable leadership and statemanship skills – the problem is that they (and the Israeli political system in general) fell in the trap they had set up: transforming everything to a question on Netanyahu. The wide-range, exotic coalition led by Lapid and Bennett was driven by the anti-Netanyahu sentiment its members had – and that was precisely the "original sin" that ultimately led to its collapse.

When the excitement of tearing down Netanyahu as the head of Israel's government evaporated, the concrete that kept the coalition together broke violently. Therefore, Netanyahu has never really left power– he has not been in Beit Aghion physically, but his ghost stood there to haunt the coalition.

Moving forward, Netanyahu must let a new generation of talented politicians flourish and be ready to tackle the big challenges the  future holds for Israel. For the sake of Zion; for the sake of the strong, firm and unequivocal pluralist democracy. But this is not the moment to think about the future leaders of Israel; this is the moment to stand with Netanyahu as he creates an even better future for Israel. And Netanyahu is the right man at the right time to defeat the threat posed by the evil Iranian ayatollah regime. As Netanyahu told President Joe Biden on the phone, "We will make history together". I am pretty confident the unbreakable alliance between Israel and the United States will author a new page in the world's history by curbing the terror of Iran – and bringing more Arab countries into the cause of peace with the Jewish state and global security.

Of course, the usual naysayers and chronic pessimists have started baiting the anti-semitic trope that Israel is governed by "a far-Right", and "extremist groups" – forgetting that before the (likely) future new right-wing government, Israel was run by a government with the decisive support of Arab parties. This can only happen in Israel, a diverse, pluralist and tolerant society as no other in such a turbulent region.

Source: Israel Hayom