Opinion: Now that the fifth Netanyahu government is up and running, those left empty-handed by his political chicanery have – despite their supposed undying loyalty to him – suddenly started voicing their grievances with their leader’s conduct

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (center) at Likud rally
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (center) at Likud rally

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has turned the Likud party into his own private playground. He sits atop of the ladder and manipulates with his party mates like marionettes on strings.

In an attempt to keep his grip on power, Netanyahu has tried to solve this ludicrous political jigsaw puzzle by dismantling entire parties, splitting the political map and handing out portfolios.
He even promised two ministers the same portfolio hoping the problem would ultimately solve itself.

And if someone tries to defy him, Netanyahu will be quick to pull another trick out of his sleeve. He will do anything to safeguard his position.

Now, those who were left dissatisfied or empty-handed by Netanyahu’s political maneuvering in the lead up to forming the unity government, have suddenly woken up.

They did not say a word about their principles or ideologies when they were coming up through the Likud ranks. They backed him fully, either through scripted interviews or through their silence.
They thought it would help them when the time came to hand out the bounty.

My heart goes out to them, I have walked in their shoes. But, Netanyahu’s behavior in the run up to the government’s swearing in is the kind of thing that I have never seen.

The truth is, as the years go by Benjamin Netanyahu, despite his excellent skills as a politician, has become disengaged from reality.

מליאת הכנסת אישרה בקריאה ראשונה את התיקונים ל"חוק יסוד: הממשלה" שיאפשרו את הקמת ממשלת נתניהו-גנץ
Netanyahu during Knesset discussion (Photo: Knesset)


Netanyahu has built himself a private empire and surrounded himself by yes-men. Whoever dares to lift their head above water and disagree with the great leader will be banished from the kingdom.

While he is backed by his diehard fans, who silence any criticism, there’s no chance of anything changing. But, it wasn’t always the case.

When Netanyahu came back to Israel from the United States in 1978, he impressed the Israeli crowd with his radiating charisma, polished English, and all sorts of American tricks that were still unfamiliar to the local public.

He was a political innovator and managed to win over the hearts of Likud supporters as well as many others.

A pro-Netanyahu rally
A pro-Netanyahu rally (Photo: Moti Kimchi)


Although his first term ended after just three years in a bitter defeat to Ehud Barak, it was only a matter of time until he came back to reclaim the post of prime minister.

Ever since Netanyahu reclaimed the premiership in 2009, no one has managed to move him from the post.

If I was to point to the exact point in time where Netanyahu’s change in character has begun, it would definitely be his against all odds victory in the 2015 elections.

That is when him and his family started believing, much like Louis XIV of France, that they are the state.

That’s also when I decided to retire from political life. I can’t say that there was necessarily a connection, but Netanyahu didn’t feel sorry for me one bit. I actually made things easier for him by quitting.

בנימין נתניהו
Netanyahu addressing the nation (Photo: Yariv Katz)


I’ve been in the same situation back in 1996, and many times after that, and each time his conduct would become more and more problematic.

Then, much like today, you had to kiss up to him or hold a position of power within the party to win his attention.

The country’s over million unemployed, however, don’t appear to interest him or anyone else. Just another empty portfolio or another ministry of nothing, and who knows how many deputy ministers.

Maybe now, after we’ve appointed a minister in charge of liaising between the government and the Knesset, we should also appoint one in charge of liaising between the government and reality.
It’s time to wake up.

As reported by Ynetnews