A win-win situation for Netanyahu

It is safe to say that no matter what happens, Netanyahu can find a way to outsmart Gantz politically.

By
February 20, 2019 23:18
1 minute read.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a press conference, February 19th, 2019

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a press conference, February 19th, 2019. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu created an interesting comparison when he canceled his long-awaited trip to Moscow in order to oversee final political maneuvers ahead of Thursday’s deadline for lists to be submitted to the Central Elections Committee.


Russia under President Vladimir Putin has been accused of interfering in recent elections in the US, France and Germany, as well as the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom. Netanyahu, who is often compared to US President Donald Trump, has displayed Putin-like prowess in political interference in recent days.
He blatantly interfered in decisions made by Bayit Yehudi, the National Union and Otzma Yehudit on the Right. His interference on the Center-Left was more subtle.


For two months, he has been playing with Israel Resilience leader Benny Gantz’s psyche. The Likud has attacked Gantz below the belt, spread false news about his wife and painted him as an irresponsible leftist who conspired against Israel with then-US president Barack Obama and abandoned an Israeli soldier to die.


Gantz clearly let Netanyahu get to him. After initially holding back fire, Gantz went overboard in his response to the prime minister in his speech at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds on Tuesday. Gantz insulted Netanyahu’s military background, made him look like a hedonist and even put him down for speaking polished English.


That was the second Gantz speech of the week that was not received well. The first was at the Munich Security Conference on Sunday.


That speech was criticized for sounding too much like a Netanyahu address. Two days later, Gantz was criticized for going to the opposite extreme in his attack on the prime minister.


The “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” political trap that Gantz crawled into thanks to Netanyahu’s political maneuvers hurt him in the polls and sent him to Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid bruised, fatigued and weakened.


Those are not good things to be when you start negotiations. It was unclear late Wednesday if a deal would be finalized.


But it is safe to say that no matter what happens, Netanyahu can find a way to outsmart Gantz politically again. If the deal is reached, he will paint the joint Gantz-Lapid list as left-wing and anti-religious. If Lapid and Gantz run separately, Netanyahu will likely find a way to divide and conquer their two parties.


The next time Netanyahu goes to Moscow, he can give pointers to Putin about how to interfere politically.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Shas party leader Arye Deri
July 22, 2019
Deri says Shas backing Netanyahu for PM, blames Liberman for elections

By JEREMY SHARON

Cookie Settings