It started well way back when a few months ago when he fired the unabashedly rebellious government ministers Tsippi Livni and Yair Lapid, declaring new elections in March. The polls showed lots of support, especially for him as Prime Minister, even among those who had no plans to vote for the Likud.
Labor's prince and wannabe Prime Minister Isaac Herzog is not considered PM material by large swaths of Israeli society. And things aren't going all that well in his party which was renamed Zionist Union when Tsippi Livni joined him, after she shocked her supporters and deserted her own party. Her popularity as the campaign got swinging was so low that although the original announcement was that they'd be interchangeable leaders and Prime Ministers, her position was moved to the back. But this didn't placate former Labor leader Shelly Yachimovich who has not been a happy camper at all.
But like it or not, Herzog is the head opposition leader which does give him a prominent position and opportunities to criticize Netanyahu to the maximum.
It seems like this time Netanyahu is going through even more than hell and high water to get his government off the ground. He did pull it off late last night at a very tense vote of 61 vs 59.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s 20-minister government was sworn in late Thursday night, following a day full of problems with Likud appointments to his cabinet. The Knesset approved the government 61-59 just after 11 p.m. on Thursday. (Jerusalem Post)Everyone's wondering if it will get better or worse for Bibi. Will his Likud party calm down? Promoting all sorts of relatively new and young MKs at the expense of the loyal and experienced Tzachi Hanegbi had me, and Hanegbi, very surprised. Or does the wily Netanyahu know or plan something that would shock us all?
Netanyahu is very well respected abroad as we saw two months ago as he was so enthusiastically cheered in Congress. Obama and fans had threatened and predicted a boycott/walkout for Bibi, which didn't really happen.
It may be easier for Prime Minister Netanyahu to charm the Americans than his fellow Israelis. With Herzog and Yachimovich locking horns the opposition isn't as powerful as the Left leaning media likes to pretend.
So, the embattled Bibi may be in power for longer than most would predict.