Benjamin Netanyahu may not realize it yet, but his dare against the political odds is over. Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, who was reelected in November despite an ongoing corruption trial and whom even rivals acknowledged was a political magician, is out of tricks. This fall won’t happen imminently, but his coalition of ultra-nationalists, religious fundamentalists and the merely corrupt is losing its moral legitimacy, even among growing numbers of its voters. Netanyahu’s fatal mistake was his firing Sunday of his defense minister, Yoav Gallant, for calling on the government to halt its judicial revolution — legislation that would erode the independence of Israel’s Supreme Court and destroy the nation’s fragile system of checks and balances, effectively concentrating governance in the hands of the prime minister. Gallant noted the deepening rift within the army over the plan, and the growing protest movement among army reservists refusing to serve, and warned that the nation’s security was at risk.
Netanyahu’s miscalculation was to assume that the Israeli public would acquiesce in his transparent attempt to extricate himself from his legal troubles — he faces multiple charges — by initiating the most far-reaching judicial transformation in the nation’s history. Instead, since January, an astonishing protest movement spontaneously emerged, initially drawing tens of thousands and now hundreds of thousands to weekly demonstrations around the country.
Resorting to the divisive political strategy that has served him in the past, Netanyahu tried to delegitimize the protesters, denouncing them as anarchists and leftists, by which he meant, not patriots. His son Yair went one step further, calling the protesters Nazis. Meanwhile, some Netanyahu supporters began physically attacking demonstrators, with no rebuke from the prime minister.
https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2 ... egislation
Netanyahu’s tragedy is that, at the end of his long political career, he now endangers his own most precious legacies. The leader who presided over Israel’s high-tech revolution jeopardizes the Israeli economy with his judicial recklessness, as the tech companies contemplate relocating abroad and leading economists warn of impending disaster.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan