Jerusalem Report

Politics & Diplomacy: Aiming for the top job

Avigdor Liberman’s acquittal has smoothed the way for the Foreign Minister’s political ambitions.

Liberman attending a meeting of their joint Likud-Beytenu faction at the Knesset.
Three minutes on a clear, early November morning was all it took for the Jerusalem Magistrates Court to throw out charges of fraud and breach of public trust against the once and future Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman. Conviction with moral turpitude attached would almost certainly have spelled the end of his rambunctious political career. The unanimous, unqualified acquittal reopened the way for the ambitious Yisrael Beytenu leader’s drive to the very top of the Israeli political ladder.

The idea of Liberman in the prime minister’s office is anathema for many. His critics insist that it could be the unmaking of Israel; his supporters point to an unpredictable creative streak and argue that he is one of the few potential national leaders with the capacity to produce viable out-of-the-box solutions.

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