Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu enjoyed rare relaxation time over the Succot
He spent time at his villa in Caesarea, went to the beach with
his grandson and rested up for the election period ahead – that he knew would
happen but everyone else could only assume would take place.
the prime minister also had an opportunity to enjoy deep sleep and dream about
his future hopes. Obviously, no one knows what goes on inside Netanyahu’s head,
but it is pretty safe to bet his dream went something like this: He woke up on
February 1 and looked back on a successful election campaign.
party had increased in size, the Right-Center bloc took advantage of the
splintering of the Left to grow to nearly 70 seats, and it was time to start
working on building a new coalition.
“Who should I call first?” the prime
minister might have asked himself in his dream world. “The defense minister I
pretended to fight in order to help him pass the electoral threshold or my
natural partners on the Right?” The dreaming prime minister could then have
reached for the phone and decided to call two people: The new US president, Mitt
Romney, to thank him for the bouquet he sent, and New York Giants quarterback
Eli Manning, to wish him well in winning a second- straight Superbowl for the
team he started supporting when he was ambassador to the United
Whether or not this is Netanyahu’s fantasy, prime ministers
cannot rest on their laurels. Netanyahu now has his work cut out for
He is facing an election campaign in which plenty can go wrong: The
Likud could pick an ultra-nationalist slate of candidates that could scare away
voters. The Center-Left bloc could unite against him.
Thousands of the
Likud’s traditional voters from the poorest sectors of the population could vote
for a party they agree with on socioeconomic issues, rather than vote on war and
And Netanyahu’s associates have expressed concern in the past that
a reinvigorated second-term US President Barack Obama could interfere in the
election against him.
In politics, anything is plausible. Dreams can come
true, but so can nightmares.
With the prime minister’s announcement, the
election campaign has begun. Now politicians in Israel won’t have any time to