Netanyahu is facing the greatest electoral challenge of his career Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Israel’s Fourth Election in Two Years is Also About Bibi

The prime minister has his back to the wall


Israel is heading to a national election for the fourth time in less than two years. And make no mistake, just like the last three early elections, this one is chiefly a referendum on Benjamin Netanyahu’s leadership.

But this time, Netanyahu’s going into the campaign weaker than ever. In a series of stunning moves, the right-wing political stage changed dramatically in recent weeks. Likud dropout Gideon Sa’ar and his party “New Hope” have reshuffled the deck among the right-wing parties. Today, it’s not the Left that Netanyahu has to worry about, but rather a powerful new front within the right-wing bloc. He has no choice but to consider new tactics, especially since it is no longer a given that the ultra-Orthodox parties will automatically side with Bibi. On top of all that, Netanyahu won’t enjoy overwhelming public support from Washington this time around.

If the upcoming election scheduled for shortly before Passover in March turns out roughly as recent polls predict, then the Right will no longer be in Netanyahu’s hands. Even if the Likud...


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