Buoyed by a ‘certificate of excellence’ from Biden admin, Netanyahu is convinced he can remain PM

Buoyed by a ‘certificate of excellence’ from Biden admin, Netanyahu is convinced he can remain PM

The Times of Israel reports:

In recent weeks, it’s become clear that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to once again run for prime minister in the next elections.

Although he hadn’t been definitive on this issue since the war in Gaza broke out, we’re now beginning to hear clear statements from him about the dramatic need for him to continue leading the country even after the next general elections, despite — and perhaps because of — the terrible national tragedy and disgraceful failures of October 7.

Netanyahu believes that Israel is in the midst of a war that will last for many years to come and that only he is fit to lead this challenge. More than that though, he is convinced that he will win an election — perhaps in the coming months — if a proposal for a hostage deal comes to a vote and wins the expected majority it needs to pass.

Netanyahu’s working assumption is that the vote will lead to ultranationalist National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir and his Otzma Yehudit party resigning from government, followed soon after by Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and the Religious Zionism party. Once that happens, elections will be inevitable, and he is confident he can beat any other candidate in the country (after he wins a Likud leadership primary, should anyone in his party seek to challenge him).

“None of the other potential prime ministerial candidates can hold a candle to him,” according to a source in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Netanyahu and his people are delighted by the certificate of excellence they received from the Biden administration earlier this week, when US Secretary of State Antony Blinken praised the offer put forward by Israel for a truce and hostage release deal as “extraordinarily generous.”

As far as Netanyahu is concerned, if the US gave broad legitimacy to Israel’s proposal, and even complimented it, he can’t be expected to offer any more generous terms, and there’s no use coming to him with complaints. [Continue reading…]

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