Opinion: When PM finally raised his head from under the blanket of his legal woes and political games, he saw one million enraged jobless stare directly at him; he immediately started pouring money to calm down the angry masses, but is it too late?

It looks like the penny has dropped for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, finally.

Benjamin Netanyahu – the most brilliant politician in the region with a sharp sense, who politically destroyed and distanced anyone who was perceived as a threat to his ongoing tenure and left nothing but dust to all his rivals – has almost lost it.

הפגנת הדגלים השחורים נגד בנימין נתניהו
Anti-government rally (Photo: AP)


Although it’s still early to eulogize him politically, Netanyahu has been occupied with a slew of issues that are not relevant to us in the slightest, such as his legal tribulations, tweets, annexation, tax breaks, conflicts, slights against Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, attempts to collect massive donations for his legal defense, the establishment of a committee of inquiry into the judiciary, annual or biannual budget, tweets and retweets his eldest son’s tweets.

Suddenly, when he raised his head from under the blanket of his personal troubles for a moment, he realized the public was genuinely desperate and that one million unemployed was a real and serious issue, not b******t, as his fellow Likud Minister Tzahi Hanegbi put it last week.

He looked with horror at a protest – the scale of the aftermath of the Yom Kippur War – was coming his way, a huge wave of desperate people, who have nothing to lose, which threatens to wash away his private kingdom.

ישיבת ממשלה
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo: Alex Gamburg)


Netanyahu, in terror, called on his advisers, ministers, viceroys, and clerks – all those on whom he always shifts the blame so easily – and started preparing plans.

And so, we arrived at last Thursday’s press conference, where he made festive promises with profound resolution.

This week, the money is finally supposed to be transferred into bank accounts of everyone effected financially by the coronavirus crisis, something the United States, which he so admires, did a long time ago.

Any further plans? Something about economic growth? Nothing. After all, everything was done in haste at the last minute. He is simply pouring money to calm the enraged masses.

הפגנת הדגלים השחורים נגד הממשלה בצומת עזריאלי
Protesters blocking a main Tel Aviv road during an anti-Netanyahu rally


Now, let’s see if the money is transferred to our bank accounts – as he promised during the first wave of COVID-19 or will he just point an accusing finger at “Eran”, a codename for nameless clerks who are easy to lash out at, because these “Erans” cannot answer back.

And here’s a tip for Netanyahu’s opposition. Those who are asking themselves, “how could it be that the public continues to vote for Netanyahu despite his serious criminal allegations and ongoing investigations?”

Well, until the outbreak of the epidemic, the public was pleased. Netanyahu has been prime minister since 2009 and life was good and all this good was mostly, and not always justly, attributed to Netanyahu.

As long as unemployment remained under 4% and Israelis could go on vacation abroad once or even twice a year, they did not care about his cigars and champagnes. As long as a shiny new car, and sometimes even two, was parked outside his home, they did not care about any of the scandals around the premier or his family.

עימותים בין מפגינים לשוטרים בכיכר רבין תל אביב
Police detain a protester during a demonstration against the government’s handling of the coronavirus epidemic in Tel Aviv (Photo: Moti Kimchi)


On the contrary, the more they attacked Netanyahu, the more it angered his supporters. According to them, he is a brilliant prime minister. The state of the economy was excellent, and Israel’s foreign relations were stronger than ever, with close ties to U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

However, the same way all this good was attributed to Netanyahu, now his name is being tethered to an unprecedented financial crisis. As the economy is falling apart before our eyes, they blame Netanyahu.

Netanyahu was not focused, or as he said in the past about in similar situations, it passed under his radar.

But now the penny had dropped for him, and with his acute political senses, he understands that this is not “nonsense”. That one million jobless who don’t see any hope on the horizon are his problem.

Was he too late? Only time would tell.

As reported by Ynetnews